The novel is about the remnants of a civilisation of beings who, in their natural form, are non-corporeal.

= Chapter 1 = 

Stephanie had a car full of washing. She also had all day. Ewen Hill was a landmark she scaled every weekend, but it still inspired nostalgia inside her, and she fondly looked forward throughout the week to driving up it and arriving at Drago's house.

Her old Toyota Celica pulled up at this house on Princess Road. Frequently she was in a rush to get her washing done on the weekends—-she usually had to work on Saturday mornings. It always baffled her how her clients would suddenly require a contract to be completed at short notice after disappearing and going quiet for some weeks.

But not this weekend. Which was a relief. She enjoyed an opportunity to bask in the unkempt choas of Drago's two-bit operation. Some new development in his illegal backyard industrial laundry had always transpired, and she had missed the last two weekends of gossip. Stephanie was eager to find out who else now was on his shit list, and what new scheme he had hatched to steal more electricity from the power grid.

She heaved a laundry basket out of the back seat of the hatchback, and hoisted three pairs of trackpants under her other arm. This was an enormous load this time. She forgot if it had been two or three weeks without doing any laundry.

Stephanie hobbled over the concrete slab path through the front yard and onto the veranda, going back to collect whatever she had dropped. By now the tremendous din of industrial dry cleaning machinery was very present.

“DRAGO!”—-Stephanie always wondered why this old man refused to install a door bell or ... bell ... or some method of detecting human life outside the house during the operating of his laundry heist.


She took out her phone and began to dial his number. At that moment, Drago finally called out.

“Ah yes! Coming! Yes!” The front door opened, and the almighty wall of laundry machine noiose arrived with the old man.

“That is a lot of washing!” “Sorry, Drago—–”

“Nevermind, it won't take long. Come in, come in.”

Drago might live at this house, and sometimes might not. Quite often not. It was indeed his house—-or one of his houses—-Stephanie could never quite work out if he had another house where he lived, or whether he used this permanent dwelling for running a racket, and in fact chose to sleep in a tent, or trailer, or ... in the garage under the house.

In any case Drago was definitely not in a dressing gown today, and was looking quite well-presented. He was in whatever he wore when he was not in a dressing gown—-jeans and a flannel shirt. He had a big moustache, which was the same colour as his hair (quite well combed today)—-shock white.

“You look well!” Stephanie put her washing down in the living room, facing the old man.

“Yes! Yes! I feel excellent!” Drago beamed. “I have been out and about—-Lake Monger was quite nice this morning.”

“Oh, you were up early!” The old man seemed to Stephanie to be unusually organised and chipper this week. “I hear the uh, plant is running quite busily today.”

“Yes! We have entered the next phase—-I have won a contract with one of the army bases—-I think this might end up being quite lucritive!”

Stephanie was a little in disbelief, but Drago had pulled off some spectacular scams in the past. If he had actually assessed the security of his incoming work this time, this might actually be—–”

“I think this is the big one, Stephanie!” Drago seemed to have gone over to the livingroom's front window. He was facing the front yard, hands behind his back.

“You don't say! That's good news!”

“It has actually been quite a while now. Bedsheets, uniforms—-maybe three or four months now?”

“Oh—-gosh. I never noticed.”

“You have been very busy lately—-I don't think we have talked like this in a long time.”

“You're probably right Anyway—-which base?”

“Swanbourne, I think.”

“Drago—-that's the SAS barracks—-I'd watch out if I were you! Aren't they the special forces?”

“I thought the same way as you, before, and at first there was a lot of scrutiny, but they seem to have calmed down now and looked the other way. It seems to be working out quite well—-so far, at least.”

“Wow. Excellent.”

“Yes that was the whole point of the laundry business in the first place. We needed to be able to get into the base—-perhaps use the uniforms—-I have some level of clearance now, it is quite the heist so far. I am quite pleased with my progress.”

“Why do you go to such lengths just to do something you could easily take care of through...” Stephanie always struggled with finding the right words for the strange concept of Drago's gambit—–“I don't know—-other means—–?”

“Things have not been going so well for all the old people back home.” Drago was still facing the window, but he was now looking down.

“What do you mean?”

“The people have been feeling weaker and more sickly as of late.”

“I'm sorry, I've been off without you—-I didn't realise it was going this badly so quickly.”

“Not, it has been like this for some time now, perhaps the whole time we have known each other. I wouldn't be here in Perth at all if I didn't have to be. I suppose I talk about Perth as if it is a prison or ... a wasteland—-and it is true that I did not move here out of choice, but I have grown to like it here.”

“There has to be some other way—-you could have chosen another city.”

“Oh—-no. Perth is nice and windy. Also it is exceptionally low in surveillance and laughably incompetent in state control, I have been able to get away with incredible missions undetected, even if a great many of them have failed. Remember the satellite we almost stole?”

“How did you get away with that one?”

“I think I just sold it back to the TV company—-or did I jsut hand them back control anonymously?”

“Wasn't this the 'eBay solution'?”

“Oh yes. That's right.”

Both Drago and Stephanie grinned nostalgically. Drago, however, quickily appeared pensive, and sighed heavily. He turned to face Stephanie and the enormous pile of laundry spilling out at her feet.

“We are in big trouble, my human friend.”

“Moreso than usual?”

“Yes, we are all sliding back very definitely into physical, corporeal form now, our ability to sustain the process of apperception is faltering very seriously. If someone or some faction doesn't make some progress to restoring our live force, I think the ... “fascists” ... I think you called them, will be able to advance. They have been noticeably stronger and more in number lately, and are much more vocal as of late.”

“I suppose that explains the urgency here of your mission here on Earth. Trying to infiltrate the Swanbourne Barracks may be the last chance you have at getting out of the third dimension.”

“Yes. The avenues we have for gaining access to enough conceptual apperceptive power are now severely limited. At least within my circles, we ony have one other strategy besides this one for gaining the upper hand if we fail—-again—-this time.”

“Yes, I think I remember you saying that.”

“I wish it did not have to be this way.” “Yes, I often think the same thing all the time—-the human race has not been going so well either.”

“Both of our civilisations are sliding back into barbarism. If either of us fail it will mean the destruction of both our kind.”

“Really? How do we humans affect your civilisation at all? We must be like little ants to you!”

“Well, my people currently have the ability to sustain the projection of a three dimensional space roughly three or four times the volume of your solar system's Jupiter at present moment, but at the rate at which that corridor of space is collapsing, I do not think we will be able to evacuate even most of the colony we have—-even if we start right now. There will simply not be enough time.”

“Has it gotten that bad?”

“Stephanie—-the collapse and destruction of my people will always be virtually certain so long as we have to subsist in three dimensional form.”

“You never told me that!”

“Yes, we are in big trouble. The operation to infiltrate the Swanbourne Barracks is scheduled to begin in a month's time. If I didn't see you today, and this mission also fails, It is highly likely that I won't ever see you again.

The horrible mid-20th century wallpaper peeing around the two was a ridiculous setting for a conversation of such gravity.

Stephanie stood there, dumbfounded. Her eyes darted around the gaudy room as she searched herself for some way to discover another set of options for Drago to consider.

“Well then I'm coming with you. And I won't take no for an answer. I feel terrible that I have neglected you for so long.

Drago shrugged. “If you wish. I do not think you will be in any particular danger.”


“Of course you can come on the mission.”

“Won't it be dangerous?”


“Won't the infiltration of the base put our lives in danger?”

“Why do you say that?”

“Couldn't we be shot?”

Drago furrowed his brow. “What are you talking about?”

“I assume we'll be entering the Swanbourne Barracks base, and then commandeering a nuclear submarine or something, and harnessing its energy—-or something similar.”

Drago shook his head slowly, in slight disbelief at what he was hearing—–“no, no—-quite a great deal of the mission will avoid three dimensional space altogether.”

“I see.” Stephanie realised she had absolutely no idea what was going on. “Then what is the point of doing the military's laundry?”

“I forget what the Australian Army calls the head dictator of the SAS Barracks but so far as it concerns persisting in the third dimension of physical existence, I merely need to be in direct physical line of sight of this person, on Earth.”

“Why are you going to all this trouble, then?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why are you trying to get into the Barracks?”

“The Commandant or Chief Inquistor lives there.”

“No they don't.”

“Drago's eyes widened. “Is this an attempt at humour?”

“No—-the Field Marshall or Staff Seargent or whatever they are called lives in Peppermint Grove.”

Drago moved to one of the luxuirous—-looking recliners to his left and threw himself into it. He covered his face with his hands and groaned. “I have been concealing the theft of enormous quantities of electricity at great difficulty for almost nine months now. I was lead to belief the Assistant Admiral of the SAS would be regularly having their uniform laundered.”

“Drago—-it is the weekend—-he is probably at home in his mansion in Peppermint Grove watching sport on his TV. I can take you there right now.”

Drago continued to shield his face with his hands—–“alright. Let's go. My comrades will not be pleased. The amount of transcendental apperception it has taken to sustain me in this form n Earth has been bleeding my community dry. I really have no idea what I am doing in this idiotic dimension!”

Stephanie leaned down and took hold on Drago's arm:

“Come on space man, it's not far.”

  • EOF

= Chapter 2 = 

“How do you want to get to Peppermint Grove?”

The laundry machines had, by now, all stopped their rumbling, and Stephanie was inspecting the many rows of the equipment that had all been installed inside the house. Drago had removed several walls, as well as the carpet and tiles, from all the surfaces elsewhere in the house. The cavernous space was lit with a single fluorescent tube from the ceiling, and by all accounts exactly resembled a dry-cleaning facility.

“Let's drive.” Drago was learning against the door frame of the division between the habitable part of the house and the facility.

“Really?” Would be it be faster to get you to teleport us?”

“No—-let's not transmit today. The weather has cleared up and I would like to spend some time in the sunlight. If we managed to see the Army Boss then I will probably not be back in Perth for some time.”

“Do you want to drive then?” Stephanie turned to Drago, banding her hand twice on a laundry machine. “We can take the scenic route.”

“You are a better driver than me, Drago.”

“I suppose so.”

The two had reached the Indian Ocean, and the weather was indeed pleasant. The sun shimmered off the water, and the sky was clear, and it was possible to see for kilometres. Rottnest was easily visible, and the Toyota sped past the many beach goers.

“I think that man is being sick.”

“Yes—-he has had too much to drink.”

“So what is going on back in your ... land ... with your people?—-You told me ages ago that you couldn't tell me the reason for all this questing and all these missions. You said you were sworn to secrecy. Can you tell me what all of this is about? It's about to be over—-and if I am right, I may not see you again for a long time.”

“Oh of course. Yes, I can tell you now.”

“What?” Stephanie threw her hands up in frustration. “You're just going to tell me now?” At that instant a car had pulled up beside them. Two blonde men wearing highly reflective sunglasses, transporting surfboards in the tray of their car turned to face the exclaiming Stephanie. The traffic lights changed green and Drago waited for them to speed off.

“I'm sorry Stephanie.” Drago looked very sheepish. “But there is no need for secrecy now. Letting you know the reason I am here on Earth will now no longer put anyone in danger.”

“Well I am—-and have been—-very curious. Spill the beans, space man!”

“Alright. Well, as you know, my race was once a people who existed in a physical form beyond this dimension—-the third dimension. The official label that many human science fiction authors have had for beings such as myself is that we are an ‘extra-dimensional sentience’. It is highly likely that humans possess the possibility of evolutionary trajectory exactly the same as my people. We once existed as biological life forms, and we have a good idea about which part of the Milky Way we originated from. A great deal of human folklore and supernatural philosophies—-such as, say—-theology, mysticism, mythologies that involve magic and creatures such as Gods and Deities speculate about the possibility of humans being able to subvert or transcend what Western academies refer to as the 'laws of nature' or the 'laws of physics'. As far as my people understand the composition of ...”

Drago paused for a moment, searching for the right word in English—–“... 'reality', that is, all that is real and true and actually existing—-there is no such opposition between what the dominant model of science humans currently conduct, and what these practitioners of science, these ... bureaucrats consider to be supernatural. Whatever passes for science and truth now under class society on Earth is a very dim shadow of all the methods of inquiry and exploration of the physical universe.

“Anyway, humans usually depict beings who are able to do 'magic' or break the laws of nature as gods, or demons, or highly perfect, or the absolute reverse, as evil spirits that need to be purged from society and so on. In fact all sentience is exactly the same—-so far as my people have been able to discover, much of the enormous bodies of human thought that have performed investigations of methods of inquiry into the nature of reality and the universe are absolutely correct.”

Stephanie turned to Drago, as they passed right by the Swanbourne Barracks—–“Really?”

“Absolutely.” Drago nodded. “Oh look, the gate is wide open.”

“Would you look at that...! Anyway—go on—I find it hard to believe that a civilisation of tyrannical and destructive people such as humans have gotten anything right.”

“Oh you have perhaps stumbled ignorantly, or recklessly onto some incredible discoveries that my people also did, but for the most part humans are highly intelligent—-and perhaps more to the point—compassionate, empathetic, and loving people.”

“I think I am going to need you to unpack this a little more for me, Drago. So far, I don't really agree.”

“You might find it hard to believe, but humans can rid themselves of political devices of oppression such as states, armies, police, prisons, the bureaucracy. All forms of external and coercive discipline. I'm sure you agree with this as well—-punishment, especially in the form the state prefers best, retributive punishment, is entirely temporary and will eventually be overthrown. In fact for long stretches of the history of humanity there were no political and social hierarchies and humans were in fact the happiest and most content they have ever been.”

“No, that is true, I suppose I need to have a little more faith in humanity.”

“Yes, I have noticed how it is fashionable and highly persuasive among all kinds of humans in Perth to avow about how humans are somehow treacherous and oppressive by nature. Even when all the best human scientific inquiry shows that there is very little evidence at all to support this sort of common colloquial topic of conversation.

“But it is true that Earth is currently in the grip of political and economic control of a small group of tyrants who are making life miserable for those Earthlings who are sentient. In fact the parallels between the current condition of your society and mine are very close. My people are also in the grip of a horrible authoritarian class-based political system much like humanity. Except instead of our state oppression being administered by third dimensional instruments of torture and misery, it occurs extra-dimensionally.”

“That sounds horrific.”

“It is. The perfection of our social system is regressing. It is very similar to human social regression—-we are slipping back into a mode of existence with less individual and collective personal autonomy, and as a result we are becoming plagued by pestilence and great misery.

“Except we are much closer to the destruction of our kind than humans are. Our former mode of political existence enabled us to persist extra-dimensionally indefinitely. But since our society regressed back into class society, we have been descending through the full gamut of physical modes of existence, and have barely been able to support ourselves within the third physical dimension.”

“So is your political system related to how many ... dimensions of reality you can exist in and ... travel through?”

“It is the same way for all beings which exhibit properties of sentience.”

“What? Even humans?”

“Oh especially humans. Like I said, one day, humans may discover how to move out of third dimensional physics.”

“How is a political system related to science at all? I don't understand you in the slightest!”

“Humans have some conception of liberating themselves from the ... 'prison' or limitations of third dimensional space and time most definitely.”

“I certainly don't have any conception of that at all.”

“Oh, every culture does. I quite like the story told by the German Idealist philosophers. I seem to remember you told me that you once studied philosophy.”

“They never spoke of moving beyond the third dimension.”

“It's certainly not a big jump to extend what they were talking about—-especially Hegel. What if I told you the current political authorities that my people suffer under are currently operating within a political structure very similar to the Prussian state that Hegel theorised about in his text the Philosophy of Right? The main reason why I am here on Earth is to gain the necessary resources to be able to carry out a transformative revolution within my colony so that we may be able to overthrow our rulers, collectivise our current forms of property once more, and abolish the state which currently controls and parasites off our labouring classes. The same thing is without a doubt similar by analogy to the human conception of libertarian communism.”

Stephanie furrowed her brow, and gazed out leftward from her car passenger window and saw a little glimmer of the ocean again from Cottesloe beach.

“I think we've driven too far, Drago.”

“Ah. Yes—–”

“Anyway go on. I've heard this stuff before, but I had never thought about it much, it seemed too fantastic and disconnected from my life. I hear people in silicon valley talking about “Social Technology” and bitcoin and software project governance based on federation and decentralisation, but those people—-they all seem to be men—-all talk with enormous words that really have me the impression that they had no idea what they were talking about.”

“Ah—-the techbros. Quite a few of them are millenarians, aren't they. If they had gained anymore power that would go from saying: The World Is Ending! To: Let's End It!”

“That's the impression I got as well. But from what it sounds like, humans would be able to—-I don't know—-leave this planet and initiate some sort of social system of infinite productivity and perfectly equality.”

“Equality of some kind is part of my point—-I suppose I talk more in terms of absolute and infinite freedom, but that is just my own choice of English words. Anyway computers are currently in the grip of Earth's ruling class, and for that reason I would probably not use them as a tool for achieving total human liberation. Not right now, anyway. Computers are deployed right now as a means for making humans work harder and surrender more of their freedom.”

“I certainly agree with that. What was supposed to be a technology for increasing economic productivity and allowing more free time for humans has enslaved us and robbed us of even more of our time—-have you seen the videos of warehouse workers competing against robots in their workplaces?”

“It has been the same way for all class societies whenever they sink into a more stratified and unequal form of class society—-it is the same for mine right now.”

“Do you use computers where you come from? Robots and automation and the like?”

“Oh. No. Actually I cannot think of another civilisation compared to humans who are so obsessed with computers. I will admit that they are quite entertaining, but they have none of the magical properties that humans regularly attach to them. Really, humans are quite fetishistic about these machines. The way they are presently used socially will not bring humans any closer to liberation.

“There are probably some computer system still in operation in my colony, but they are an obsolete technology to us. Where humans would deploy computation to solve a problem or achieve some task, we would appeal to the Transcendental Aesthetic. But even that is an ancient technology in our civilisation—-they way we used to live required no recourse to objects or processes in third dimensional physics or—-individual personal consciousness for that matter.”

“What is the Transcendental Aesthetic?”

“It is a label I borrowed from the German philosopher Kant, and the capacity we have to use it is not quite the same as he explained, but, put simply, it is the ability or 'technology' my people use in order to 'look into' the third dimension and see objects and relationships between third dimensional physical entities.”

“How does that work?”

“Well, the universe does not really operate the way humans normally think it does. Humans think that the world is made up of objects like atoms and photons and pet animals, all of which are neutrally given to them in empirical experience. When you close your eyes and go to sleep and become unconscious, it is true that the world does indeed go on existing, and that when you resume consciousness, time has passed and you are experiencing a world which your mind is not wholly involved in creating or maintaining, but that is where humans usually stop in their understanding of the metaphysics of the objectivity of the universe. Actually, the consciousness of the minds that sentient beings possess—-and it is absolutely true that all sentience requires a mind of some sort—-is actually a critical element in 'constructing' or 'creating' the objectivity of the universe. There is nothing neutral and uncontested about empirical facts. All knowledge and experience through the conduit of a conscious mind is laden with concepts and values, and interpretations. Nietzsche used the phrase “transvaluation of norms” to describe the process whereby a ... rational or autonomous agent would be able to re-intepreted the meaning of sentient experience in such a way as to radically and completely transform the appearance and function of living existence. Not that Nietzsche would ever have said the words 'rational' or 'autonomous agent’.”

“So are you saying humans just have to think differently in order to free themselves from their fleshy, puny bodies—-and ... transcend the third dimension?” Stephanie was absolutely not buying it. “You didn't slip me something every time I come see you, do you? I'm not tripping right now, am I?”

Drago sighed. “It is difficult to explain. Maybe I'll start from a different perspective. Every sentient creature of some kind possesses some form of consciousness, and therefore some kind of mind. The ... awareness you have of your experience of being awake and alert, and being able to monitor your emotional state—-as well as being able to detect continuity and a reliability in your conscious awakeness is a critical and active capacity. For that reason, humans are definitely not a kind of computer made up of little biological machines like proteins or cells or even physical objects. That is not what makes humans humans. You would be able to put me on a surgical table right now and cut me open and give me an autopsy right now, and my body in this dimension would flawlessly appear to be human, but I can assure you that this manifestation of the person you know is a Zombie. This body has no mind or consciousness. This body is a puppet for a ... consciousness or spirit that exists beyond this dimension. Whereas you, and every other actual human, possesses a kind of ... kernel of what Hegel called 'spirit'. You possess the capacity for 'apperception'—that is, you have the active rational capacity for forming a unified and coherent experience of space and time within the third dimension. That is the most advanced stage of your civilisation's development and sentient beings.”

“I think I follow—-you're right, humans usually don't acknowledge that all of the 'facts' or objects we see or take as verification of our theories all take place within and through our conscious experience.”

“Yes. It is a shame indeed that the phrases 'expand your mind' and 'transcend your consciousness' have both acquired derogatory and derisive connotations within English-speaking society. That was my point earlier: when humans—-and all civilisations of sentient beings, for that matter—free themselves from the oppression of tyrannies and absurd irrational social modes of organisation such as 'work' and 'war' and 'accumulation of capital', the social and mental development of their race will, in time, be able to advance to such a stage that the physical limitations of the third dimension, and all other physical dimensions of extension, will not be a productive or useful mode of existence, and will be a fetter upon the operation or organisation of their sentience, and it will be dispensed with and left with altogether.”

“The same way your people did.”

“Yes, the way we were once able to existence without having to worry or navigate what English refers to as third, or even fourth physical dimensions. But once you move beyond those sorts of axes of physical extension, I believe you are no longer really referring to anything a human would comprehend as, or desire to refer to as 'physical'.”

“It sounds quite blissful...”

“Well, it is anything but blissful for us right now. I think we have arrived in Peppermint Grove. Let me just get out and ask someone where the Commandant lives.”

  • EOF

= Chapter 3 = 

Drago spent some time knocking on the doors of houses that all proved empty, Stephanie sitting in the car the whole time.

“Do you need me to get out?” Stephanie stuck her head out of the car passenger window.

“Oh! No. You stay there, it will only take a moment. I just need to—-you know—–” Drago performed a split-finger salute, grinning.

Stephanie rolled her eyes and shook her head, but could not help from laughing. Drago turned a street corner and disappeared from sight.

After some moments, he returned from around the street corner, looking very serious, pacing somewhat quickly, in his old faded jeans in the beautiful penetrating Perth summer sunlight. He gave Stephanie a quick forced grin and a slight thumbs up in the distance, and got back in the car driver's seat.

“You did it, didn't you.”

“Yes I did.”

“Are you alright?”

“Yes, I'm fine, the missions is actually completed now, but I saw some things that nobody should ever have to see.”

“I bet—-if you read his mind and all.”

“Yes. That man is a murderer. He has committed many war crimes both with his own hands, and through his instructions to others.”

“I'm so sorry Drago.”

“It is to be expected, really—-many of our rulers are doing the same thing at the moment, we also developed a state apparatus with a military some centuries ago.

“Do you want to go home now, or would you like to come complete the next phase of the operating with me in the colony?”

“Are you asking me to come to the next dimension with you?”

“Well you are not really leaving the third dimension, you're just leaving the natural one, and entering the one we have simulated. But you are surely leaving Earth.”

“Will I still be in no danger?”

“Oh yes of course, none of our weapons or methods of violence would affect you. The only danger would be that we run out of time for the results of the mission we just completed to bear fruit. We need to carry out the revolution necessary for my people to survive. It has to happen before my colony's corridor in space and time collapses.”

“A revolution you say—-what would happen then?”

“Oh, well, you would fall out of the broom cupboard which is the entry to the colony. You'd be safe, and would be returned back to Earth, but my people would be destroyed.”

Drago looked especially morose.

“How long should it take to know how fast the ... results of your mission will present themselves?”

“Oh, if I have sufficiently manipulated the core beliefs of your SAS Commander, then we should be seeing some changes in a day or two, but if he is especially unintelligent, or strong willed, it may take some weeks, or even a month or so.”

“Could you tell anything by looking into his mind? Could you make a prediction?”

“Well, these things are never certain, but he is a man of alarmingly weak will, so my attempt to plant an idea in his mind took the form of an order, or a very strong suggestion from someone with authority over him. He many even feel fearful if he does not do what I suggested to him.”

“What did you suggest to him?”

“Oh, he is going to make a pathetic attempt at a coup d'etat in Perth tomorrow. Maybe even this afternoon. What time is it?” Drago leaned over to look at his mobile phone inside the car dashboard. “Gosh, it's midday. It might happen today.”

Stephanie was, again, lost for words.

“Why did you convince him to do that? I thought you were communists, you space people! Peaceful people!”

“Oh it will surely fail. The WA masses will rise up and will begin to establish a communist society. That is the point of the mission.” Drago started the car, and started driving inland. “The point of my time here on Earth was to attempt to raise the consciousness of humanity to a higher level, to raise the amount of residual transcendental apperceptive power of the human race, so that my people will be able to draw on it and health the sickness and rejuvenate the strength of our own masses so we may draw upon it, and use it to inspire ourselves to overthrow our own oppressor class.”

“Are you saying a revolution is due to kick off in Perth sometime today?”

“Hopefully.” Drago grinned a little.

“Well I'm not sure if I want to stay on Earth, or go with you to your simulated dimension! Id' like to see both things unfold!”

“You can easily do both. If all goes well, our revolution should be completed much more quickly than humanity's, and you will be able to either see the spectacular destruction of an extra-dimensional civilisation, or both Earth and my people's ascension toa much more natural and civilised mode of being.

“Well, if you say so.”

“It's your choice—–” Drago leaned over and looked a little sheepishly at Stephanie.

“No no! I want to go! Besides, you clearly need my help. You know some things about the third dimension, but quite often you are completely clueless about how to exist and move about 3D space and time.”

Drago grew a broad smile. “I was hoping you would say that.”

“The red Toyota entered onto Stirling Highway and, after some time, the enormous clock tower of the University of Western Australia edged steadily into clear view. Stephanie caught Drago peering through the car's windscreen looking for it, as though he wasn't sure about where he was going. When it peered over the highway, between some trees in the distance, he became very visibily more relaxed.

“Ah! There's the university.”

“Is the entrance to the colony inside UWA?”


“Oh wow—-where?”

“The philosophy department, very definitely. Well, inside the cleaner's locker room in the philosophy department. I rather like the offices there. They will become an excellent community centre for learning after the revolution.”

“Is there really a cleaner's room in the philosophy department?”

“Well it is a cupboard of some sort,” Drago laughed. “There is a mop in there, but perhaps you are right, the cleaner works out of someplace else.”

Stephanie awoke on a bed lying on a hard dirt floor. Her vision was blurry, and after some seconds, luckily, the tunnel-vision she experienced at first receded, and she once again had a full field of vision. Light poured into the room where she lay through a window adjacent to her bed. A slight breeze not dissimilar to the one being carried through the University of Western Australia passed over her, and after yet another few moments, she leaned over, and realised there was no glass in the window at all.

The sky outside was a wonderous blue, cloudless picture, and she was certain she could hear some voices speaking outside, somewhere in the distance. By now, the migrane was gone, and she sat up. The room she was in was made from mud bricks—-she spied them through some of the flaking whitewash rendering on the walls. By her feet were some cut vegetables, some bread, and what looked like an enamelled clay jusg of wine with a matching cup.

“Oh, good. You're awake.” Drago stood leaning against the doorway on the opposite side of the room, in true, unmistakable confirmation that the person Stephanie could in fact see was Drago.

“Drago...” Stephanie croaked. “We're in the colony now aren't we.”

“Yes.” Drago smiled, and drank from an earthenware cup in his hand matching the one by Stephanie's bed. He looked very healthy. Not older, not younger, but somehow as if he had been on a long holiday that had refreshed him greatly. Either that or a three day long sleep or some such.

“So we're really here. I can't remember anything... I was expecting to see incredible lights, or an incredible star field, why is it that I do not remember arriving here?”

“I suppressed your memory of the transit, but I can release the hold on it in a little while. Come. Let us go for a walk, and I will show you around the colony and introduce you to my friends and comrades.”

All of a sudden, Stephanie's lethargy lifted, and she felt completely invigorated.

“Alright.” She looked a little closer at Drago, now, and could see he was not wearing anything she could recognise as clothes someone would wear in Perth at all. “Drago?”

“Yes?” Drago had spun on his feet and left the room momentarily.

“What are you wearing?”

“Oh. Yes. You're probably wanting to change clothes too.” He returned with some very lightly dyed cloth. “I am wearing what Earth people in a particular period of your history awould refer to as a 'chiton'. We were rather enthralled by some parts of Earth history and decided to model our three dimensional appearance on the ancient Hellenistic world you would know from history books of the Mediterranean. But we do not possess a political system like those people. There are also many differences so do not be fooled into thinking you have actually travelled back in time!”

“I have one suggestion before you leave the house, however.”

“Sure, what's that?” Stephanie found herself after moving into Drago's kitchen, eating the plate of vegetables left for her later consciousness quite ravenously.

“Try not to look up at much of the sky, yet. You may become quite disorientated.”

“I suppose I shouldn't ask.”

“Oh, I'll tell you now. Earthlings live on the outside of a sphere, but we live on the inside of one. We walk on the surface of a sphere with the sky above us, like humans do, but the sky and atmosphere are suspended in the middle of the world, unlike on Earth. When you look up, you will undoubtedly be looking at people and buildings that are on the otherside of our rather titanic concave planet, and, to be quite honest, I am sure you will find it very jarring.”

Stephanie had a small conception of what Drago was talking about.

“I think I experienced something similar while swimming underwater once.”

Drago paused for a second. “Ah, yes. Well, feel free to look up if you feel. It will be quite an odd experience, much the same as living on Earth was for me. I had no conception of living on the surface of a planet. It wook me quite a while to adjust.”

Stephanie dropped a small cloth onto the dirt floor. “The gravity seems the same.”

“Yes, yes, it is. Come now, I am excited to introduce you to my comrades.”

Stephanie put on her Hellenistic robes and stepped out into an olive garden. There was running water nearby, and the people she heard talking were in fact the comrades to whom Drago had been referring.

“Ah! Rayan! There you are. That must be Stephanie!”

Drago and Stephanie travelled some short distance over to a group of three people sitting in a small grove at the end of the yard. By their feet was a small white dog, which was the first to greet the Earthling. When the two presented themselves to the three, Drago turned to Stephanie rather seriously, and said, with great gravity: “I have something to tell you.”

“Oh, it is about your name isn't it.”

“How did you know!”

“Drago, please, I knew you had taken on a pseudonym on Earth, please!”

The three lounging on cushions in the grove laughed raucously, and one erupted into a shout: “See? I told you Rayan, you were fooling nobody!”

“Yes, Drago, Rayan—-whatever your name is—-if your name is Rayan, then I shall call you Rayan from now on—-but I assumed the whole time after you revealed to me you were an extraterrestrial that you were not telling me your real name. I supposed maybe Earth rulers or police or whoever were following you or looking for you, at least until you told me you could dupe people into doing whatever you told them.”

“Look! Look how defeated he looks!” The same one laughed.

“Yes he does look quite crestfallen.” Stephanie agreed.

“But you never learned my real name, though, did you.” Drago sought to try and exculpate himself from looking like a complete idiot.

Stephanie thought hard. “No, I don't think I ever knew your real name. Until now at least.”

The group of three groaned very audibly. The same one, the shouting man, let out a sigh. “I suppose that bet is definitely decided them...”

“Yes.” the third one laid back down onto her cushion. “Palm-Frond wins this one.” The second turned to the first: “It's just a little wine, for goodness sake, Goh, I'll go get you some tomorrow.”

“Anyway.” Rayan sought to try and bring some order to the auspicious meeting. “Everyone, this is Stephanie. Stephanie, meet Palm-Frond, Goh, and Lutrin.”

Goh was a loud young man with an enormous mop of jet-black hair. He was quite tall, and smelled quite sweaty. Stephanie suspected he had been out working, or had at least not bathed properly in several days. To his immediate right was Palm-Frond. She was very jovial-looking, but somewhat reserved in demeanour at the present moment, and had been eating some grapes, and reading what looked like some parchment, and had been making notes in the margins with a writing implement that Stephanie could not recognise. Finally, there was Lutrin, a very slightly built woman with tremendously white silver hair uch the same as Rayan. She was most likely the oldest out of everyone here, at least in appearance, by human standards. But Stephanie could tell something was different about the way people appeared in the colony. There was a niggling feeling that their phsycial appearance had absolutely no connection to how old they were, or indeed how old or how long they were ever going to live.

“We have been so excited to meet you, Stephanie.” Palm-Frond grinned her way. “Rayan tells us that you were instrumental in the success of the mission we Universalists undertook. It is because of you that we are quite certain that the revolution will succeed and we will be able to prevent the extinction of our kind. Also, because of us, and Rayan we gifted humans a little kickstart into the journey into leaving the third dimension as well.” With that last sentence, Palm-Frond took a little sip of wine and gave a sly smile towards Rayan.

Rayan looked away a little sheepishly, as if he had performed an act he really should not have. “Yes, I believe some fictional Earth multimedia refers to an ethical code called the 'prime directive', but in our culture we do not practice the caution or hesitation from interacting with or, as the media says, 'interfering' with other species, especially if they are sentient.

Goh piped up: “Yes, living as extradimensional beings for so long makes it very easy for us to influence the way entropy operates in the third dimension, so for our poeple to exist in a many multiplicity of modes of universal being, we move with, through, and for other objects in lower dimensions. We are, in some manner of speaking, a part of everything, the entire cosmos as any non-corporeal being only knows how.”

“Look at you all... You're confusing her. Poor thing. Shut up about this nonsense, you two. Let us have light and pleasant conversation, you idiots.” Lutrin scoffed loudly. She shook her head and put down the vegetable she had been eating.

“No, not at all, Lutrin—-Rayan and I had a long discussion about some of this while we were on the mission back on Earth. How long have I been sleeping, though? Rayan was very pessimistic about the odds of the success of the mission, he said it was just as likely as not that the mission would fail, and that Earthlings as well as your people would all be plunged into a dystopia, or worse—-complete destruction.”

Rayan sat down opposite Lutrin. He seat was a wooden chair.

“We have been very lucky. I am in fact immensely relieved about the outcome of the mission you helped me with, Stephanie. It sounds ridiculous, but because of the five people here, and obviously the with the great yearning for freedom of the masses, we have saved both humanity and our people and have ushered in a tremendous age of freedom and peace for many many sentient beings.”

“Well, the revolution has yet to be completed here in the colony.” Lutrin cautioned. “But to answer your question, Stephanie, you have been resting on and off for perhaps a month. Your consciousness has been adjusting to simulated three dimensional space and time for quite a while, but it has gone will, I would say that, as the first human to ever knowingly enter our society, and be welcomed and accepted—–”

“Invited, really,” Goh interjected.

”—-yes, invited—-you have adjusted very quickly. Unfortunately, you will never be able to remember your first month here in the colony. That is just how it works. It is like being in a fever-like sickness where you are in a delirium, that time you lost will never be experienced at all.”

“Oh, believe me, I do not mind,” Stephanie felt the need to apologise a little. “But, I do believe Rayan says I will be able to remember my transit here to the colony.”

“Oh yes!” Goh exclaimed. “Yes, we are all going to share it together later, it is going to be an incredible show, from what Rayan told me. Apparently you two were down walking around an Earth academy, and decided to put off the transmission to the colony for some hours. So you spent some time by the river near the academy, and by the time you decided to transmit, it was very late in the evening. What a spectacular trip we are going to see!”

“I do seem to remember a little of it now, but certainly not the transit.” Stephanie closed her eyes and touched her temple lightly.

“But yes, you must certainly be excited to hear that there has been a successful communist revolution on Earth.”

“I haven't heard any of this...” Stephanie looked a little breathlessly at Rayan. “What do you mean by all of this?”

“Well, the coup d'etat attempted by the Australian military against the bourgeoisie of your country failed as spectacularly as we could ever have hoped.” Lutrin informed. “The masses of people who occupied Perth and the towns and the big estates of land brought a complete halt to capitalist production, and, as we hoped, the people seized control of the capitalist means of production and proceeded to organise and restart production along communist lines. Money and private property were abolished, and virtually all key sectors of the Western Australian economy were all collectivised. This is exactly what we could have hoped would happen.”

“I don't understand,” Stephanie complained. “How could all of this have happened so quickly? You said I arrived here a month ago.”

“Well, time operates differently for us in the colony when we are able to exercise the capacity for transcendental apperception with more vitality and vigor.” Lutrin again took the role for explaining to Stephanie.

“Yes, we are able to have more control over our perception of Earth's time because the incredible power the human spirit was able to gift us in augmenting and boosting our collective subjective essence. In short, we have been able to speed up time from our perspective, on Earth, and greatly multiply our ability to regenerate our idealistic essence as a result.” Palm-Frond put down her piece of writing.

“So that's why you all look like the perfect picture of repose right now!” Stephanie seemed to be understanding all of this outlandish nonsense a lot better now. Perhaps she was also being gifted some of the powers of the newly flowering human spirit that had been unleashed on Earth with the new establishment of a stateless society in Western Australia.

“Yes, I suppose it makes no sense to humans, but when we are more free and powerful, in short: more in touch with ourselves as people, both collectively and individually, we are able to control the flow of time much more carefully and accurately, as as a result are able to relax as well as getting more done. It is a bizarre kind of feedback, or snowballing effect, where our greater freedom and creative capacity amplifies more and more into even more freedom and personal autonomy.” Rayan decided to sample some of the grapes.

“It sort of makes us feel happy and blissful!” Goh looked up at the sky, and sighed. Stephanie was about to follow suit, but she caught herself and continued to look at the group quite forcefully.

“Ah-hah. The sky, you haven't seen it yet, have you.” Goh broke off a bit of bread he had been resting on his lap. “Do you think she would like to see it all yet, Lutrin? Do you think she is ready?”

Lutrin looked a little thoughtful. Then she shrugged, “it bothers me not if she falls on her behind. In fact I think that is what you are getting at, aren't you, Goh.” Her gaze at the young man was penetrating.

“Well I suppose I have to get it over and done with sooner or later.” Stephanie looked directly up. What she saw, she had never even formed the slightest conception of in her mind before. Off in the distance, the surface of the land they walked on curved upwards, until the land became so distance that it was overtaken by the sky and the clouds. The geometry of this enormous spherical space seemed truly impossible. The gravitational force that held her to the surface of the ... colony was pulling outwards and not inwards. If she was careful, through the atmosphere she could make out large, dark figures, tiny specks of what she assumed were enormous temples, probably also exhibiting impossible geometries of their own. It was truly breath-taking. Stephanie rotated about the axis of her spinal cord as she craned her neck back further and further. Eventually, she could feel herself seriously about to lose balance. Goh began to cheer. “Here we go!!”

Just as Stephanie was completely about to lose balance, Palm-Frond, who had become standing sometime during the sojourn, caught her.

“You are absolutely no fun, you know that.”

“You are a silly fool, Goh, but we love you all the same.” Lutrin sighed.

“This place is amazing.” Stephanie sat down dizzily, her head spinning. She became cross-legged and was panting a little. “Why would you ever want to leave this place?”

Rayan and Lutrin looked at each other with a knowing twinkle in both of their eyes.

“Well, Stephanie, and I mean this with all sincerity, it gets far better than this.”

“To the arrival of our friend Stephanie!” Goh exclaimed.

The three arranged arranged extra cups for Rayan and Stephanie, and they performed a toast for the arrival of their new Earthling compatriot.

  • EOF