Science Fiction and Fantasy | An Indian Experience

Guleil: Arrival - Part 5 of the Serialised Novel by Som Nandivada |
Issue 28

Guleil: Part 5 – Arrival – A Serialised Novel By Som Nandivada

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“So, we’re here.” Liz said in a matter of fact way.

As a stewardess her job was done halfway to completion. Triton was a world like none other, or like any other, depending on how you looked at it.

And located on Triton, Komango was just one huge big parking lot. Vessels would arrive, stock up, and depart for elsewhere. Not much else was going on here.

For her, it was as good as done, or half done at any rate. For Dik, it was still a good bit of limbo ahead, even for the completion of this leg.

There was a good bit of Pullback and push-forward.

“What is happening?” Dik asked, looking out the deck.

“Tangent space stuff”, said Lizzie. She was arranging for his brief tenure at the gate, where he could stretch and fill up, and get right back for the next leg, which would be toHalf Town | And there you go.

“I assume you’re not referring to a spot for beachcombers, Lizzie. You know, where gents come to get tanned, and for other sundry stuff.” Dik was trying to be facetious but he wasn’t very good at it.

She just made a face.

Tangent space dynamics, Dik tried to understand what was going on. From his end, all that was evident was that the port would loom in, and vroom out, again and yet again. There was no clearance imminent for a good bit, so even though they were there, they weren’t quite there.

Dik put in a rodeo call to Ike. “Hey, Ike how’re you doing? Can you tell me what a tangent space is?”

Differential geometry was for map makers, or so he had heard. Well here you go, there were places in this universe where the map makers laid the law. Komango obviously was one such.

Ike thrummed into focus.

“It’s like this, Dik:

This trip from the earth to here could just as well be treated as an ordinary Hohmann transfer. But we, as intelligence, have evolved considerably since the early days of space travel. Now we account for higher order perturbations more diligently.

In fact, not only do we account for them, but we have consistent feedback mechanisms that address the SpaceTime parameters of the vicinity to which even this minute perturbation caused by our ship causes some effect.

So basically we use tangent space techniques to apply this accounting and feedback into practice.”

“In terms of a definition as a starting point, let’s see …

Let x be a point in an n-dimensional compact manifold M, and attach at x a copy of Rn tangential to M. The resulting structure is called the tangent space of M at x and is denoted TxM.

If γ is taken to be a smooth curve passing through x, then the derivative of γ at x is a vector in TxM.”

“And furthermore, all the stuff that happens at Guleil; torsion and curvature, integral curves and Lie derivatives, geodesics and connections; here to there, it all happens on tangent spaces.

And so it went on.

Lizzie checked in on them after a while, and said to Dik when his dialog with Ike was done,

“Irma has conveyed that you are headed for illumination.” She paused.

“You are a lucky man, Dik.”

Lizzie didn’t tell him much detail, but she knew that his intention to work as an orc welder at Half Town | Adbhut.inwas not likely to be realized. This lad would head on out all the way out to Ghedawdhyer, and the Gods knew where else thereon. Why would that be so, she had no intuition for, but she knew that what Irma would say, was bound to happen. Irma was aware.

As to Dik, his head was full of thoughts of Yum, and all that snubby stuff. That was all he had room for, for the moment. He had no clue that big stakes were afoot.

“Is Yum going to be stepping out here too? Komango leads every which way, doesn’t it?” He had to ask. Lizzie looked at him quizzically, and he figured he kind of got his answer without really getting it, which he couldn’t have anyway.

He might see Yum at Komango, or he might not. She might be getting down and heading on to another ship and he might not even cross her path. Or he might. She might even go all the way where he was headed. Lizzie wouldn’t tell him one way or another.

He just kept on wishing and went on with his routines.

A board call was made for the bill of lading, and some tronic work ensued.

Finally they were granted access, and docked into a lander.


Note: Read the complete Guleil Series:

Cover pic by Егор Журавлёв.

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Born in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh, India at the Feet of Lord Shiva and now living on the edge in Toronto Canada, Som is a software engineer by profession with graduate background in mathematics, physics and space studies. He is also a classic blues rock drummer/lyricist. Science fiction is Som's chosen portal.