Reality Inspector, chapter 22

Copyright © 1982 John Caris

Sunlight glitters on ancient weapons of war, hanging on a wall. Shadows scamper about the four corners of the room. A fresh breeze flows through an open window. Mary and Achilles are sitting at a table, facing each other. She is fascinated by the puzzle that he has told her, and she is very interested in hearing the answer.

"Are you familiar with Odysseus' strange adventures?" Achilles asks.

Mary nods her head in the affirmative. The strangeness of her situation increases her awareness; she realizes that she is hearing Achilles' mind speak rather than his voice.

Remember Odysseus' crew member Elpenor, the one who falls off of Circe's roof and kills himself. Achilles' voice echoes through her mind. When Odysseus and his men, after sailing several days, finally reach Hades where he speaks to Teiresias, Elpenor is already there. That's the key. Elpenor travels faster than Odysseus. Once I understood that, I realized that I must shift my mental coordinates. So far, everything that I have mentioned to you has been in spatial words. I have even described time in spatial metaphors, and that usage is a trap. I could not solve the time question until I thought with time metaphors.

True, Einstein brings time into our spatial world, but only as a function of space! As I thought about that fact, I saw written before me 'E = MC2'; and then I heard a voice singing, 'Move over, you're in my light.' I knew at once that I had the basics of my time image. Achilles projects the image, and Mary shivers. So I crossed the abyss into the future where I won the race. The tortoise still hasn't reached the beginning edge yet.

Achilles smiles, and Mary beams it back.

"Now, Mary, would you like to win your race?"


"Well, you have won this game with Sam. So shall we step into the future where the next game is won?"


And time is no more.

chapter 21 chapter 23
table of contents