Book 4. Co-creation (1999)
I saw another world, another planet. I was able to remember everything that went on there in clear detail, yet to this day I still have the lingering feeling in my consciousness that beholding anything like that is an impossibility Think about it — my mind and consciousness tell me it’s impossible, and yet they — the visions, the pictures — remain with me to this day And now I shall try and describe them to you.
I stood on ground similar to what we have on the Earth. There was absolutely no vegetation around me. I say stood. But whether I can actually say that it’s hard to tell. I didn’t have any legs or arms, I didn’t even have a body, and yet at the same time it seemed I could feel my steps, I could feel the rocky, uneven surface through the soles of my feet.
All around, as far as the eye could see, above the soil rose metallic machines, both egg-shaped ones and square, or cubelike machines. I use the word machines because the one closest to me gave off a kind of soft whirring sound.
From each of these machines a plethora of hoses of different diameters went down into the ground. Some of these hoses were slightly quivering, as though something was being sucked up through them from the ground, while others were in a motionless state. No living beings were in sight.
All at once I saw a panel on the side of one of these strange devices open, and out floated — rather slowly — a kind of disc, similar in shape to a discus thrown by athletes, only much larger, about forty-five metres in diameter. It hovered in the air, and then started to rotate. After a brief descent it took off and flew completely noiselessly overhead. Other devices a little farther away did the same, and several more discs flew after the first one, one after the other, right over my head. And then once again there was just still and empty space, except for the whirring and crackling of the strange devices. The whole picture aroused my interest, but even more, its indescribable lifelessness was frightening.
“Do not be afraid of anything, Vladimir.” All at once I caught the sound of Anastasia’s voice, which comforted me no end.
“Where are you, Anastasia?” I enquired.
“Right here beside you. We are invisible, Vladimir. Present here are our feelings, sensations, mind and all our other invisible forms of energy. We are here without our material bodies. Nobody can do anything to us. The only thing we need be wary of is ourselves, and the consequences of our own sensations.”
“What kind of consequences might there be?”
“Psychological consequences. Like temporarily going out of one’s mind.”
“Going out of one’s mind?”
“Yes, but only temporarily For a month or two, it can happen: the vision of other planets may stir up Man’s mind and consciousness. But you need not be afraid, you are not threatened by this. You will pull through. And there is nothing to be afraid of — believe me, Vladimir, you are indeed here, but not as far as they are concerned. At the moment we are invisible and can go and see whatever we wish to.”
“I’m not afraid. Only you’d better tell me, Anastasia, what are those whirring machines all around us? What are they for?”
“Each of those egg-shaped machines is a factory. They are the ones that produce the ‘flying saucers’ that are of such interest to you.”
‘And who maintains, or controls these factories?”
“No one. They are programmed in advance to make a particular product. Through those pipes going down into the ground they suck up the raw material they need in the required amounts. The forging and pressing, and then the assembly, all take place in small compartments inside, and then the fully formed product comes out. This factory is much more efficient than any on the Earth. There is practically no waste from this process. There is no need to transport raw material from distant places. There is no need to ship individual component parts to the assembly point. The whole manufacturing process is concentrated in one place.”
‘Amazing! We should have a gizmo like that! And who controls the new ‘flying saucers’? I noticed they were all flying in the same direction.”
“Nobody controls them, they fly all by themselves to a storage depot.”
“Incredible! Just like a living being!”
“But this by itself represents nothing incredible, even in terms of earthly technology. After all, the Earth also has pilotless planes and rockets.”
“Just the same, they are controlled by people on the Earth.”
“But the Earth for a long time has also had rockets which are preprogrammed for a specific target. All one has to do is push the launch button and the rocket fires itself and heads for a predetermined target.”
“Maybe so. And really, what was there here that was so sur-prising?”
“If you really think about it, there is not that much to be surprised at. Only, by comparison with the technology we have on the Earth, this is far more advanced. These factories, Vladimir, are multifunctional. They can manufacture a great deal, from food products to powerful weapons.”
“And what are their food products made of? Nothing grows here, after all.”
“Everything comes from deep in the ground. The machines take in all the juices they need through the pipes and press them into granules. These granules will contain all the substances needed to sustain bodily life.”
“What does this gizmo itself feed on? Who supplies it with electrical power? I don’t see any wires.”
“It produces the energy it needs all on its own, using everything from the environment.”
“Well, just look how smart it is! Smarter than Man.”
“It is by no means smarter than Man, Vladimir. It is simply a machine. It is subject to its assigned programme, and is very easy to reprogram. Would you like me to show you how it is done?”
“Let us move a little closer to it.”
We stood at about a metre’s distance from the huge device, which was the size of a nine-storey building. The crackling sound became more distinct. An army of flexible tentaclelike pipes reached into the ground, shaking. The surface of the device’s covering wasn’t entirely smooth. I caught sight of a circular area approximately a metre in diameter, densely covered with small wires sticking out like hairs. They were quivering, each one individually
“This is the antenna for the scanning apparatus. It picks up the brain’s energy impulses which it uses to compile a programme capable of carrying out an assigned task. If your brain can visualise a particular object, the machine should be able to manufacture it.”
“Any that you can picture in detail. As though constructing it with your thoughts.”
‘And any kind of car?”
“And can I try it right now?”
“Yes. Move closer to the receiver and start by mentally in-structing its antenna to turn all its receptor wires toward you. Directly that happens, begin picturing what you desire.”
I stood close to the wiry antenna. Burning with curiosity, I mentally desired, as Anastasia had said, to have all its wires pay heed to me. At first they turned in my direction, then all of them, with a slight trembling, directed their tips to my invisible head and stayed still.
Now I had to visualise a particular object. For some reason I began picturing a Model 7 Zhiguli — the car I had in Novosibirsk. I tried picturing everything in as much detail as I could — the window-glass and the bonnet, the bumper, the colour and even the licence plate. I took a long time with the visualisation. When I got tired of it, I moved away from the antenna. The huge machine started whirring more briskly.”
“We must wait,” explained Anastasia. “Now it is disassembling the unfinished product it was working on and compiling a programme for carrying out your design.”
“Will we have long to wait?”
“I do not think so.”
We went over to look at some of the other machines. Presently, as I was examining the multicoloured rocks underfoot, I heard Anastasia’s voice announcing:
“I think the manufacture of the object you pictured in your mind is complete. Let us take a look and see how it coped with the task.”
We went back to the first machine and began waiting. After a little while its panel opened and out came a Zhiguli. It rolled down a smooth ramp to the ground. But this freak standing in front of me had nothing on the beautiful automobile I knew back on the Earth.
First, it had only one door — one on the driver’s side. In place of the back seats there were only some coils of wire and pieces of rubber. I walked — or rather moved — around the object. It was definitely not something you could call a motor car.
Two wheels were missing from the passenger side. Nor was there any bumper or licence plate at the front. The bonnet did not look as though it would open — it seemed to be made of a single piece with the chassis. In sum, this unique factory had produced not a car, but some kind of narwhal of indeterminate function.
And I said:
“Gawd! Is that the best this alien factory can come up with? If this had happened on Earth, they’d have sacked all the designers and engineers!”
Anastasia burst out laughing in response, and I heard her voice say:
“Of course they might have been let go. But in this case the chief designer is you, Vladimir, and what you see is the product of your designing.”
“I wanted a standard modern automobile, but what has this machine spit out?”
“Wanting is not enough. You have to picture everything down to the minutest detail. You did not even include any passenger doors in your visualisation. You only thought of the one door for yourself. And you pictured wheels only on your side of the car — you neglected to put in wheels on the other side. And I think you completely forgot about the motor.”
“Which means there is no motor in your design. So why blame the manufacturer when you yourself gave it an incomplete programme to work with?”
All at once I saw, or sensed, the approach of three flying machines heading in our direction. Gotta get outa here — the thought flashed across my mind, but then I heard Anastasia’s calming voice:
“They will not notice us or sense us in any way, Vladimir. They have received word about a disruption in the work of one of their factories, and now they are probably coming to investigate. We shall have the opportunity to quietly observe some of the living inhabitants of this planet.”
Out of the three small flying machines stepped five aliens. They were very similar in appearance to earthlings. Not just similar, but everything about them suggested earthlings. They were well built. No slouching shoulders — their athletic bodies held their handsome heads straight and proud. And they even had hair on their heads and eyebrows on their faces, and one of them sported a neatly trimmed moustache. They were dressed in thin multicoloured one-piece outfits that tightly covered their whole body.
The aliens walked over to the car produced by their factory, or, more accurately, to the semblance of an earthly car. They stood silently beside it, observing, without emotion. They are no doubt having one hell of a time trying to figure this one out, I thought.
The alien who appeared to be the youngest, with light- brown hair, detached himself from the others. He went up to the door of the car and tried to open it, but the door refused to budge. The lock was probably jammed. The rest of his actions seemed very earthly, which gave me no small comfort. The brown-haired alien banged his hand on the door in the area of the lock, then tried pulling it harder this time, and the door opened. He sat down in the driver’s seat, put his hands on the steering-wheel and began to carefully examine the dashboard instruments.
Good lad, I thought. A clever fellow. And in confirmation of my appraisal I heard Anastasia say:
“This is a very top-ranked scientist, by their standards, Vladimir. His thought works quickly and logically in a technical orientation. Besides, he is studying how beings live on several other planets, including the Earth. He even has an Earth-like name — Arkaan.”
“But why does his face show no surprise at finding that one of their factories made something anomalous?”
“The inhabitants of this planet have almost no feelings or emotions. Their minds work evenly and logically, with no giving in to emotional outbursts or departures from set goals.” The young alien climbed out of the car, uttering sounds reminiscent of Morse code. An older alien stepped forward and stood by the wiry antenna where I had positioned myself earlier. Then they all climbed back into their flying machines and took off.
The factory which had manufactured the car according to my design began whirring again. Its tentacle pipes began pulling themselves up from the ground and redirecting themselves toward a nearby automated factory of the same type, from which tentacle pipes also extended. When all the tentacles joined together, Anastasia said:
“You see, they have reprogrammed it to self-destruct. All the components of the factory where the disruption occurred will now be remoulded by the other factory and used in production.”
And I began feeling a trifle sorry for the robot factory which had helped me create, albeit unsuccessfully, an Earth- car. But there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
“Vladimir, would you like to take a look at the everyday life of the planet’s inhabitants?” Anastasia offered.
“Yes, of course.”
We found ourselves overlooking one of the cities or settlements of the huge planet. Our aerial view afforded us the following picture:
As far as the eye could see, the whole populated area consisted of a great many cylindrical installations, something like our modern skyscrapers, set in a large number of circles. In the centre of each circle were low-rise structures somewhat reminiscent of trees on the Earth — even their sensor-leaves were green. And Anastasia confirmed that these artificial structures draw up from the ground all the components of substances needed for sustenance, which are then despatched through special pipes into the homes of every inhabitant of this particular world. Not only that but they maintain the requisite atmosphere for the planet.
When Anastasia suggested paying a visit to one of the apartments, I asked:
“Can we visit the flat of that brown-haired alien who sat in my car?”
“Yes,” she replied. ‘At this moment he will be just getting home from work.”
We found ourselves almost at the very top of one of the cylindrical skyscrapers. There were absolutely no windows in this alien apartment block. The circular walls were marked off into dull-coloured squares. Near the bottom of each square was a raisable door — the kind you might find on our modern garages. Now and then one of the doors would open and out would come a small flying machine similar to the ones we had seen near the automated factory, and fly off on its own. It turned out that there was a small garage for one of these machines located below each apartment in the high-rise.
There were no lifts or doors in the building. Each flat had its own entrance directly from the garage. And, as it turned out, every inhabitant of the planet acquired an apartment like this once he reached a certain age.
At first I didn’t particularly take to the flat itself. Upon finding ourselves in the brown-haired man’s flat just after he arrived home, my initial impression was one of surprise at its simplicity and apparent lack of amenities. The room, approximately thirty square metres in area, was completely barren. It wasn’t just that there were no windows or partitions — there wasn’t even the barest modicum of furniture. The smooth, pale walls bore not a single painting or shelf by way of decoration.
“Maybe he’s just got this flat recently?” I asked Anastasia.
“Arkaan has been living here for twenty years now. His apartment has everything necessary for relaxation, entertainment and work. All the necessary components are built into the walls. You shall presently see for yourself.”
Indeed, no sooner had the brown-haired alien come up from his garage below, than the ceiling and walls of the room began to glow with a soft light. Arkaan turned to face the wall next to the entrance, placed the palm of his hand on the surface and uttered a sound. A panel on the wall lit up.
Anastasia gave a running commentary on everything that was taking place in the apartment:
“Right now the computer is identifying the apartment’s owner by the lines of his hand and his eye-scan. Now it is greeting him and letting him knowhow long he has been gone, as well as the need to check his physical condition... You see, Vladimir, Arkaan has put his other hand up to the console and is letting out a deep sigh so that the computer can check his physical condition... Now the check-up is complete, and a message has appeared on the screen telling him he needs to take a nutrient mixture. It is asking him what he intends to do over the next three hours.
“This is important for the computer to know in order to prepare an appropriate mixture. Now Arkaan is asking for a mixture optimised to boost his mental activity for the next three hours, after which he intends to go to sleep.
“The computer is suggesting that he not engage in any strenuous mental activity over a three hour period; instead, it is recommending he take a solution calculated to sustain work activity for a period of two hours and sixteen minutes. Arkaan has agreed to the computer’s recommendation.”
At that point a small niche opened in the wall, from which Arkaan seized hold of a flexible pipe. Putting the end of the hose to his mouth he took a drink (or a bite to eat) from the hose and then went over to the opposite wall. The niche holding the pipe closed up, the screen panel dimmed, and the wall where the alien had just been standing once more became smooth and monochrome.
Wow! I thought, with this technology you can do away with a kitchen and all its equipment, and dishes, and furniture — especially you can do away with clean-up. And even with a wife who knows how to make a good meal. No need to go to the store. Besides, at one fell swoop the computer can check your health, prepare the food you require and make all sorts of recommendations. I wonder how much a computer would cost back on the Earth? And immediately I heard Anastasia say:
‘As for expenditures, it is less expensive to equip each apartment with such a device than to load kitchens down with furniture and a whole lot of appliances for food preparation. They are much more rational than earthlings, all told. But in fact there is much more rationality on the Earth than here.”
I didn’t pay much attention to Anastasia’s last remark. I was too absorbed in watching Arkaan’s actions. He went on giving voice commands, and the following events ensued in the room.
From a section of the wall all at once an armchair began to inflate. Then beside the chair another little niche opened, from which a small table emerged, along with some kind of semi-transparent container resembling a laboratory flask. On the opposite wall of the room a large screen lit up, about one-and-a-half to two metres in diagonal. The screen showed a beautiful woman in a slinky body-suit seated in a comfortable chair. The woman was holding a container in her hands similar to the one on the table beside Arkaan. The image of the woman on the screen was three-dimensional, and much sharper than on our TV sets. It seemed as though she were not on a screen, but sitting right there in the room.
Anastasia explained that Arkaan and the woman sitting opposite him were forming a child together.
“The inhabitants of this planet do not have sufficient strength of feeling to enter into sexual relations like people on the Earth. Outwardly their bodies are no different. But the absence of feelings does not allow them to produce offspring the way people do on the Earth. It is their own cells and hormones that are contained in the test-tubes you see. Men and women visualise what they would like their future child to look like. They mentally instil in him the information they themselves contain, and discuss his future activity. This process lasts approximately three years in Earth time. Once they determine that the process of the child’s forma-tion is complete, they join the contents of the two containers together in a special laboratory, the child is produced and raised in a special nursery school until he comes of age. Then as a mature member of the community he is offered an apartment and assigned to the personnel roster of one of the work groups.”
Arkaan alternated his gaze between the woman on the screen and the liquid in the little sealed container. All at once the wall screen dimmed, but the alien remained seated in his chair, his eyes fixed on the container on the table in front of him holding a particle of his future child. Now the opposite
wall was flashing with red squares. The alien turned sideways, his hands shielding his eyes from the flashing lights, and inclined his head even closer to his container. New illuminated squares and triangles began flashing alarmingly from the ceiling.
“The wake-time allotted Arkaan by the computer has expired. Now the computer is insistently reminding him of the need for sleep,” Anastasia explained.
But the alien bent his head down even closer to his flask, clasping it in his hands.
The lights on the walls and the ceiling stopped flashing. The room began filling with some kind of steam-like gas. Anastasia’s voice remarked:
“Now the computer is using gas to put Arkaan to sleep.”
The alien’s head began slowly drooping toward the table and soon it was resting on it, his eyes closed. The armchair began emerging even further out of the wall and transforming itself into a bed. Then the bed-chair began rocking from side to side, and the body of the already sleeping alien fell back into a comfortable cradle.
Arkaan slept clasping the little container in his hands to his chest.
There is so much more to tell about the advanced technological features not only of the apartment, but on the huge planet as a whole. According to Anastasia, the community of people inhabiting it have no fear of any invasion from the outside. Not only that, but with the help of their technical achievements they are capable of destroying life on any other planet in the Universe. Any except the Earth.
“Why?” I asked. “Does that mean our rockets and weapons are capable of repelling an attack?” And Anastasia replied:
“Earth rockets pose no threat to them, Vladimir. The civi-lisation on this planet has long been acquainted with all the
derivatives of explosion. They also are familiar with implosion.”
“What does that mean, implosion?”
“Scientists on the Earth know that when two or more sub-stances which have come together in an instantaneous reaction expand, an explosion occurs. But there is a different reaction from contact between two substances. Take a gaseous substance, about a cubic kilometre or more in size, capable of instantaneously compressing itself to the size of a speck, thereby becoming a super-hard material. Imagine a grenade or a rocket exploding in such a cloud, but another force simultaneously acting against the explosion — an implosion — will take place at the same time. And all you will hear then is a clapping sound. And everything that was in that cloud will be transformed into a stone the size of a speck. All the rockets on Earth will not overcome the pall of gaseous clouds.
“In the history of the Earth there have been two comings, or invasions, on their part. Now they are preparing for a third. They think a favourable moment for that is once more approaching.”
“That means nothing can stop them, if there are no weapons on Earth stronger than theirs.”
“Man does have a weapon. It is known as Man’s thought. Even I alone could turn about half of their weapons into dust and scatter them through the Universe. And if I could find some helpers, then together we would be able to liquidate all their weapons. The only thing is, the majority of people on the Earth and almost all the governments on the Earth would consider their invasion a blessing.”
“But how could it happen that everyone took an invasion, an attack, for a blessing?”
“You will see in a moment. Here, take a look at the centre which is preparing an invasion force to take over the continents of the Earth.”