Post-Human Condition: The Stars Are Alright

It was a Tampa beach party: white sands, a cool breeze, a hot sun whose rays skipped off the clear water like perfectly cast stones, and young professionals in casual clothes drinking cheap beer. But this was a new world, and whether you could see them or not, the stars had changed, the new gods had come, and so even something as prosaic as a party changed too. More drinking, more fighting, more nudity, more groping, more sex, and everyone chanting Fuck yeah, Hymar! And some of the partiers, they were not completely human — an extra eye perhaps, in the back of the skull or striped skin or or several breasts and so on, and no one cared except to revel in the moment.

But Roy stood at the edge of the party, more comfortable with the strange math of dark matter than the licentiousness of the party. He was straight edge: No alcohol or other drugs, exercised daily, read all the time. But he was at the party anyway, staring at the surf, contemplating the cosmos, thinking about going home, berating himself for letting a couple of his colleagues (not even the physicists) talk him into going, when Tim, one of those colleagues approached him: “Roy! Man, you gotta do your thing!”

Roy sighed, and then the water rippled, and a figure rose from it, a woman. She was tall, human-like, more or less, but her skin was a pale lavender, and her hair was a mass of thin tentacles, darker than her skin but still violet, her eyes were black and large, and she was wearing a dress of seaweed and shells.

Everyone but Roy stared; he had met Doza before, at a conference. Everyone else was overjoyed since having a Lemurian at their party meant so many likes and such for their photos and videos. Roy was just happy to see a friendly face and a real colleague.

She walked to Roy and knelt in front of him. “Listen, mortal, time is of the essence. I am but a little mermaid, and if you don’t marry me, I’ll just dissolve into foam and dieeee!” He laughed, and so did she.

“Seriously, the seers have foretold that you will call on Hymar.”

“Seers, Doza?” Her people had seers, potent sorcerer-scientists, but Roy doubted that he merited their attention.

“Ok. Chad sent me a text. But I can’t wait.”

And then the chant started: Roy! Roy! Roy!

Someone yelled “Do it and I’ll suck your dick!”

Doza stuck her black tongue out at him suggestively, and waggled her hair in the same way. “Go on, Roy. In my culture, callers just get fame, respect, and wealth. Here, you get blowjobs.”

Did Doza see him as a party trick, like these revelers did? She was a caller too. She knew how serious it was, but she always joked with him. Was he too solemn? Was he too anxious? Am I a shaman or a clown to her, he wondered. Whatever.

Roy went to the middle of the party, and with no fanfare, he began speaking. Doza whistled, a sound like a conch horn. He was reciting ancient equations in a modern tongue, unlocking the code of the universe for the revelers, and showing them the truth. They were like ants staring at the Sun — they understood little, and Roy only understood a little more, and what they saw was beautiful and terrible, and they heard a song that would haunt them in their dreams, and into their hearts Roy had cast a shadow of Hymar (for any more would be deadly), and they felt the gravity of black holes and the invisible light of dark matter, and the love that Hymar had for them, this much too young race who had discovered what they were not supposed to know, and Hymar took a reveler into into his bosom (the same one who had offered the blowjob), and that reveler disappeared, and he was considered blessed. Roy finished his recitation, and asked for a beer. Fuck straight edge.

“What did you think?” Roy asked Doza.

She smirked for a moment, but then she straightened her face. “You’re good, Roy.” He and Doza wandered off, walked and swam and had a few beers more and kissed and pondered weird geometries and impossible physics and the ocean and the moon and the stars.