tagSci-Fi & FantasyTri-ethereal Ch. 09

Tri-ethereal Ch. 09


I was very tired after discussing with Johanna what I was going to reveal to Erin. Frequently, whenever I have long, deep discussions with my counterpart the deliberations leave me completely exhausted. This time was no different. By the way, it was never that way when we were living in Tri-ethereal.

I lay down to take a nap. I asked Johanna what she was going to do. She said that she was going to go into deep transition and asked me to call her when I woke up from my nap. I didn't ask her but I'm sure the discussions left her exhausted too.

I awoke with a start. I had had a dream of me and Johanna in an airport. We were buying tickets to fly to Tri-ethereal. But the plane was late.

I looked at the digital clock on top of the television. It was almost six o'clock. I'd been asleep for nearly two hours. I called to Johanna. She said that she had come out of deep transition just a few minutes earlier. Then she reminded me that if we had to go through union in order to prove to Erin that we are a Trimorph from Tri-ethereal then I would be in deep transition and unable to talk to her for seven days. I told her that that was OK with me.

I went to the refrigerator to see if there was something I could munch on. Nothing there except yesterday's meatloaf and some macaroni and cheese. It would only take me a minute to warm it up in the microwave but I wasn't in the mood for leftovers. Maybe I would eat it for a snack later this evening. If not then I would probably end up throwing it away.

I thought about Queen Marina. She would love living with today's modern conveniences. She hated wasting things, especially food. She was always complaining about having to throw away food when there were so many poor, starving children in Tri-ethereal.

I went to the cupboard; nothing I felt like eating there either.

I knew what my problem was. I was still somewhat anxious over what I was going to tell Erin. Where should I start? How should I proceed? Should I give her details or just a short summary? Then there was always the nagging question of whether or not she would believe me.

Then on a hunch I used my laptop to look up Erin's address on the Internet; I figured it shouldn't be too hard to find an address for someone with her credentials. I didn't want to wait until tomorrow to talk to her to get permission to see all the scrolls. If she was home, I'd go see her now. I informed Johanna what I was doing. She thought it was an excellent idea.

I got Erin's address. It was a short ride on the subway from my apartment; I could be there in a few minutes. Luckily her phone number wasn't unlisted. I called her and asked her if I could come over. I told her that I had a copy of an ancient scroll I wanted to show her. She said that it was OK with her as long as I didn't stay too late. She likes to get to bed early.

The first thing I did was to apologize to her for leaving so abruptly from the library this morning. She said that she was used to me leaving her without an explanation. I cringed. Johanna whispered to me, "You deserved that after the way you dumped her."

I ignored Johanna. "That's why I'm here, Erin. I want to explain to you why I left you years ago. It's also why I'm here now."

"I was about to have some cake and tea. Would you like some?"

"I'll have some tea thanks. I just finished a burger, fries and a drink on my way over here."

"You're eating junk food now John. That's not like you."

"Johanna doesn't like it either. But I rarely eat the stuff, only when I'm in a hurry."

"Who's Johanna, you're wife?"

"No, I'm still a bachelor. But she's another reason I'm here."

I took off my parka, draped it over the back of a chair and sat down at her kitchen table. It was a small kitchen. The apartment was small. But then I didn't expect much more from an elderly widow living by herself.

"How old do you think I am Erin?"

She put another cup, saucer and spoon on the table in front of me.

"Well my math isn't so good John and you never did tell me your age when you were in the hospital. I'm 72 so I would venture a guess and say that you're about 74 or 75 years old. But you don't look it. Did you find the fountain of youth in your adventures?"

"No Erin, I didn't. And I'm not 75; I'm a little older than that."

I paused, wondering how to proceed. Johanna whispered to me, "Don't stop now; you're on a roll."

Then, "Would you believe that I'm not a Corporealian. I'm actually from another world and I'm over twenty thousand years old?

"John, I'm too well educated to believe in aliens from distant planets landing here. The distances between stars and galaxies is far too immense . . ."

"I'm not from another planet Erin." I interrupted her. I'm from a parallel world to Corporeal called Tri-ethereal."

The water was boiling on her stove. She was ignoring it, just staring at me with a puzzled look on her face. I was sure there were a thousand questions going through her mind at that moment.

After several long seconds she retrieved the teakettle.

I continued, "I haven't read all the Tarah Desert scrolls, but I'm sure they weren't written by someone from the land of Trimorph. I'm sure their author called himself a Trimorph. Am I correct?"

Erin didn't answer me. She poured the water into the teapot and returned the teakettle to the stove. Then, "I did have some trouble with translating those lines. I assumed it was just the difference between the two different but similar languages, between ancient Greckian and whatever language it's written in."

"It's ancient Japekian hieroglyphics."

"Oh come on John you can't be serious? King Anday destroyed all traces of Japek, including their language."

"I can read ancient Japekian hieroglyphics."

"John I wasn't born yesterday. You waltz in here, tell me that you're some kind of alien and that you can read Japekian hieroglyphics, a language from a culture that was destroyed twenty thousand years ago. Then you expect me to believe you? Who's your plastic surgeon? I'd like to look as young as you do."

I pulled off my left shoe and sock and put my foot up on the table. "Where's the J? And look, I can bend my big toe; the tendon isn't cut. Shouldn't I have a scar on the ball of my foot in the shape of a J for John? You're the one who changed the bandage on it fifty years ago."

Erin looked from my foot to my face. Again, there was a puzzled look on her face. Again, I was sure there were a thousand questions going through her mind at that moment.

She filled both of our cups with tea. I put two spoons of sugar in mine; she did the same.

Then while Erin ate her cake and I drank my tea I began to explain to her all about my life. I told her about Tri-ethereal and how it is a parallel world to Corporeal. I described the Stonebridge monument to her. I told her about Unamorphs and the war they declared on Trimorphs.

Through most of it she sat in silence while I rambled on. Then she asked me how I got here if I'm from a parallel world. For a couple of seconds I just looked at her, trying to figure out how to proceed.

Johanna whispered, "Tell her John. Tell her that you're a Trimorph."

"Erin, I'm not a simple being . . . I'm a Trimorph. Trimorphs can't die; we live forever. We have a tri-existence."

I paused again. Then, "There are three of us here. There's me; I'm the male. There's my counterpart, Johanna; she's the female. Then the two of us share this one body. It's both male and female but only one sex is evident at any one time, the sex of the one in possession of our body."

I told her that Johanna and I were forced to drink a concoction of vinegar and crushed hemlock leaves. The poison then sent our body into unconsciousness and paralysis here to Corporeal. I added that at the time Johanna and I were banished the technology of Tri-ethereal was centuries ahead of Corporeal, that when we were banished twenty thousand years ago the culture of Tri-ethereal was about equal to her Middle Ages.

"John all this sounds so fantastic, like some fantasy science fiction story. What do you expect me to believe?"

"Look," I turned on my laptop. I showed her my copy of the scroll that Alexander and Alexandria wrote in Tri-etherealian. I told her that over the years I had memorized the text but I scanned it onto disc a few years ago. Before that I kept my copy written in a notebook.

"Have you ever seen any alphabet or language that even remotely resembles this? It's written in ancient Tri-etherealian, the land that Johanna and I are from."

She looked over the document. "What happened to the original?" she asked.

"It was in the library at Lanton. It was burned when the barbarians sacked and destroyed the city."

"The barbarians destroyed more than scrolls when they destroyed the kingdom of Abeck," Erin added.

"It was written by the same Trimorph who wrote the Tarah Desert scrolls," I volunteered. "See his name where he signed it. I'll bet it's the same as that on the Tarah Desert scrolls."

"Yes it is. What is that next to his name?"

"That's his counterpart, Alexandria. He's a Trimorph just like me and Johanna."

"Where is Johanna now?"

"She's within me. She can see and hear everything I see and hear, although sometimes her vision is blurred or not at all."

"Is she here now? Can I talk to her?" Erin asked.

"Only through me. You ask me the questions and . . ."

"This is all too much for me John. You'll have to excuse me if I don't believe you. I'm an old lady who is set in her ways. But I'm not a fool. I don't . . ."

"I can prove everything I say Erin, if you'll just give me the chance."

"John, I don't know what you're trying to pull off. If you're just trying to make up some fantastic story about why you left me . . ."

"Just give me a chance Erin. One chance is all I'm asking. Then if you don't believe me I'll go away and leave you alone. I won't bother you any more."


"Mind if I use your living room sofa?"

We both went into her living room.

"This will only take a few minutes Erin. When we were in Tri-ethereal it took about an hour but now its over within about twenty minutes. Just watch me is all I ask."

"Whatever you say John."

Then to my counterpart, "Are you ready Johanna?"

"Yes I am John," Johanna whispered.

I didn't think it would be appropriate for me to remove my clothes, so I just lay down on her sofa. Erin took a chair across from me.

I closed my eyes and pictured Johanna's naked body in my mind's eye. Within seconds I could feel her enveloping me, enshrouding me with her love.

As soon as our metamorphosis was finished I sat up; I didn't linger to enjoy it. John was in transition and I was in possession of our body. Erin was just staring at me, a look of complete fascination on her face.

"Good evening Erin. Allow me to introduce my self. I'm Johanna, John's counterpart," I said.

"Where is John? What happened to him?"

"He's within me," I answered her.

"Oh my," she said weakly. "I've never seen anything like what you just did in all my life. You don't mind if I have a glass of water do you?" She started to get up.

"I'll get it for you. Just sit there. Do you have any aspirins; I have a headache."

"Yes in the medicine cabinet above the bathroom sink."

When I re-entered the living room Erin asked me, "Johanna, that's your name?"


"Johanna, John said that you change sexes. Are you . . . are you a female?"

"Yes, I am. I have a vagina, ovaries, breasts; I'm all female. I can even get pregnant. Would you like me to prove that I'm female?"

"No, no that's alright. I believe you."

Erin and I then talked for over two hours. I again told her all about Trimorphs and Tri-ethereal. She was captivated by our union and wanted to know all about it, the mechanics of it, the physiology of it, everything.

She couldn't get over the fact that I am twenty thousand years old, yet didn't look a day over 20. She asked me if John or I had ever gotten sick. I told her that we have both caught colds every now and then but other than that neither of us had ever been sick.

She seemed more receptive to me and my explanation of Tri-ethereal than she was to John's explanation. I don't know if that was because I hadn't dumped her fifty years ago after going to bed with her, or if it was just because I'm a female and she was relating to female – female talk.

In fact, she wanted me to stay and tell her more. She wanted to know all about King Andrew and Queen Marina, Lord Kartier, Lord Kennington and Tri-ethereal government. But it was late. We promised to meet early at the Stellear Library.

As she was walking me to her door she asked, "Oh, you never did tell me what happened to John."

I turned to her, smiled and said, "He's in what we call deep transition and cannot come out for seven days. I won't be able to talk to him for seven days."

She gave me a questioning look.

"He's asleep and won't wakeup for seven days," I added.

"Good for him. It's what he deserves for treating me the way he did." She smiled.

I knew I had made a new friend.

We met early the next morning at the library. Together we poured over the scrolls; including those not open to the public. It took me five days but I was able to see them all.

Her translation of the ancient Japekian hieroglyphics was quite accurate considering that no one had seen the language for twenty thousand years. She only had a few minor errors in the translations; I helped her correct them.

I asked her how she was going to explain the minor changes to her bosses. She told me that she would just tell them that a friend of hers who could read ancient Greckian helped her. I smiled.

Sadly, there was nothing new to be found in them. That disappointed me and I knew that John would also be disappointed. Although there were a couple of lines that were so badly deteriorated that I couldn't translate them. I told Erin that John was better at translating than I was; maybe he could decipher something out of them.

The scrolls were just advice on how to live a clean, healthy life. But I could read between the lines, so to speak. I knew that Alexander was really telling his readers – other Trimorphs – how to avoid detection of their Trimorph status.

I told Erin what I believed Alexander was doing with the scrolls. She asked me if I knew how many other Trimorphs were here in Corporeal. I told her that I didn't know, that neither John nor I had ever met any. I also informed her of the thousands and thousands of Trimorph bodies that Lord Kennington found under the altar at Stonebridge.

That saddened her. She wondered why we hadn't met any other Trimorphs, seeing that so many of them were banished. I told her that John and I have speculated that that's probably because we Trimorphs learned to hide our Trimorph status from Unamorphs while still in Tri-ethereal and that ability just carried over here in Corporeal.

I informed her that for all these years we kept a low profile, hiding from witch hunters, slave traders and the like. We assumed other Trimorphs probably did the same.

The only way to detect us here in Corporeal is to catch us going through union. Whereas in Tri-ethereal all you had to do is ask us – we cannot lie, steal, cheat or deceive. We are honest beings. A Corporealian could also learn of our status just by asking us. But no one in Corporeal even knows of the existence of Tri-ethereal or Trimorphs. So, no one knows to ask us if we are a Trimorph.

I further informed Erin that before, in Tri-ethereal, we had to go through union about every 14 to 16 hours. But here in Corporeal we don't have to go through union unless we want to. That also helps us hide our Trimorph status.

Erin was amazed at how many different cultures John and I had lived through; how many different languages we must have learned to speak; the technological development we had witnessed and how we had lived so many years without getting discovered.

I told her that we learned to live in obscurity and frugally. It's much easier to avoid detection that way. For the first couple of centuries we worked at unskilled or lightly skilled jobs, never seeking publicity or rewards for our labors beyond our pay, and constantly moving every fifteen or twenty years.

John started saving coins almost as soon as we arrived. There were no coin collectors way back then but he knew eventually some Corporealians would start collecting them.

He knew that because there were coin collectors in Tri-ethereal when we were banished and Tri-ethereal is basically just like Corporeal, except that Corporeal is centuries behind Tri-ethereal in technological development – at least it was when we were banished. The continents and everything has different names but other than that the two worlds are nearly the same.

There were coin collectors in Tri-ethereal and John knew eventually there would be coin collectors in Corporeal. Every new culture we entered, John would save some of their coins, knowing that centuries later they would be worth a lot more than their face value.

I told Erin that I thought John's idea to save coins was a stroke of genius. Whenever we had to move, one rare coin taken from our cache and sold to a dealer or a rare coin collector gave us all the money we needed to start over.

Erin asked me what the technology of Tri-ethereal was when we were banished. I reminded her that John told her that earlier. She said that she had forgotten. I told her that when we were banished Tri-ethereal was about equal to her Middle Ages, while Corporeal was still building pyramids to their gods. I added that Corporeal's technological development was a lot slower than the development of Tri-ethereal.

We spent six wonderful days getting to know each other. We bonded; we became good friends. She asked me if I had watched her and John have sex fifty years ago. I told her that it was impossible for a Trimorph in transition not to see or hear what their counterpart is doing. I quickly added that here in Corporeal our vision is sometimes blurred and sometimes we can't see at all.

"But did you see John and I have sex? Was your vision blurred at the time?"

"Yes, Erin I watched you and John make love. I even told John not to make love to you. I told him that it would only end up hurting you."

"That's . . ."

"If it's any consolation John was hurting for a long time after he left you."

"That's OK dear. Maybe you and I can have sex and make John watch us." Then she smiled.

After six days of talking with her, describing Tri-ethereal and making friends, Erin told me that she understood why John left her so abruptly fifty years ago. She asked me when he was going to wakeup. I answered that he was due to come out of deep transition the next day. She then wanted to know when we were going through union again; she wanted to tell John that she forgave him.

I told her that we could go through union anytime we felt like it. I added that I would go through union with John as soon as he was ready upon coming out of deep transition. She thanked me.

I asked her if she wanted to watch us. Not that I believed she wanted to be voyeuristic about it, but that I figured she would like to see and possibly understand the metamorphosis of it. She said that she would be very honored and grateful to watch us go through union.

The next evening I knocked at Erin's apartment door. I told her that John had come out of deep transition earlier in the afternoon and that I had discussed going through union with him as soon as possible.

"Can he hear us now," she asked.

"Yes, he can hear everything that's going on. He asked me to tell you hello. He also informed me that his vision is slightly blurred right now. That sometimes happens when we come out of deep transition."

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