Back in my early school Physics lessons, a teacher I respected deeply, spoon-fed me, and other form-members, the beginnings of an understanding of our physical world. The knowledge that everything was held together with energy – in fact that everything was a form of energy, had a deep and lasting effect upon me. My thirst for further understanding was a compelling, driving force, which unfortunately quickly hit an insurmountable wall – the feebly finite level of my own intelligence. Despite several attempts to understand, I regretfully filed the then current theories of the creation of our universe into the box labelled ‘Accept, but without understanding’. Fortunately this is a metaphoric box, as it has grown uncontrollably in size almost exponentially, having over the years had heaped into it more and more of my acceptances of the ‘abstractions’ by which we all have to live, and make a living by.
By necessity then, we accept the technology that puts into use the science which most of us barely understand. We observe the results, and because they match the theories, or at least our understanding of the theories, don’t question any further. The truth is always more complex than that which is immediately observable by us. In fact we now know that our mere observation of certain phenomena is certainly capable of changing the phenomena itself. Although we also accept that our observations will also change us, the manner and diversity of the changes upon us can remain entirely unpredictable, and at times may not manifest themselves in a way that we are capable of understanding, let alone controlling.
This story is about a man who feels that he has lost, and his partner who sees that he is lost, but cannot help him. His entirely accidental proximity to the mind-blowing work of a genius, threatens to send him hurtling ever downward into a spiral of despair and self-disgust. Nevertheless, he takes up the challenge, accepting that he will either understand it, or be consumed by it, or both.
Warning: The story contains an explicit scene of an intimate sexual nature, and is not suitable for minors, or those who are easily offended.
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The story is available as a PDF download here: The Crystal
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