Science Fiction and Fantasy | An Indian Experience

Guleil: Parousia - Part 6 of the Serialised Novel by Som Nandivada |
Issue 29

Guleil: Part 6 – Parousia – A Serialised Novel By Som Nandivada

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“Haven’t we already come and been? Is this a gone and come again deal?” Dik was light headed with travel euphoria, and woozily asked.

“Relax, Dik. Take a stroll, stretch your legs. Go crazy.” Lizzie replied.

Ike chipped in:

“Parousia is a second coming. Dik, think of this as along the lines of Dirac’s Second Quantization for photons in radiation; or the seconnd combustion for fossil based vehicles.”

Dik had no clue what Ike was talking about. He just looked out of the window.

At the UFO parking, that is to say, the Unbelievable! Five (bucks) Only! Parking, they found their spot. Dik oozed his way out and stretched. Yes, oozed would be the only way to describe it, he thought to himself a minute later. At departure and arrival, the foam bridges ease out enough to allow humans through, but nevertheless, there is a pipe impact they necessarily feel. It was a price to pay, when you chose to enjoy the rush of space travel. Of course, nobody really paid much heed to it, except for the sociologists.

The gatekeeper was a wizened old man who looked like he had been posted here to work out his crotchetiness. “So you’re from ye ole eBay huh!” He said to Dik.  It took a while for Dik to figure out that he was referring to the earth, i.e. earth-bay. He stamped Dik’s ticket and got lost in his thoughts promptly. Dik strolled on.

There were a couple of groks who were orc welding the lattice ship into a custom habitat for the second leg. He felt an aggression building up in him from seeing some others plying his line, and simultaneously a huge rush of joy at seeing fellow trades folk, even though they weren’t human.

Groks were descendants of the robots, the ancient mechanical beings who had been instrumental in early space conquests.

“Hoy, how krees?” He said, and they nodded. It was a guild greeting, and they showed gladness that his joy was greater than his aggression.  Groks were examples of the other kind, in the sense that they were sentient enough, but not in a human way. The pipers on the other hand shared identity with humans.

He got a tripping high from seeing their variable displacement units at work, in this low gravity environment. Everything was so well orchestrated. Hazardous materials were being handled like putty, and he for a moment envied groks for their ruggedness.

Of course, there were several pipers, and a few humans manning Komango.

Back home in the Pacific, working folks usually wore general issue draft clothing.

In space, it was a whole another story. For female folk, it was the tale of dungarees versus lingerie, whether gongs or human clothing. Females who were involved in applying their persona in some way or another, wore display lingerie in flowing see thru robes. While those she folk who were blue in the collar, they wore dungarees. The latter though had the positive aspect of robust support for frolicsome life, with ingenious features for coitus attainment wherever you were, howsoever you were positioned.

He noticed some people get off and head towards other gates, obviously not continuing as fellow passengers to Half Town | The lattice was probably the only ship with passengers that went that far out. And the way they organized it, he didn’t see anyone who would be continuing. That was by means of timing and angle of observation. The seclusion continued till the final destination. He wished he could sneak one peek at Yum, but nope, didn’t happen.

He ambled over to a local shove it in joint, titled in a rather jolting fashion, the G&B of G&B.

The Grill and Bar of Gill and Brar – It was a grill and bar, for sure, yes. But more than that, it was a veritable marketplace of locales. You could set up all kinds of scenarios and happenstances out here.

There was of course Punjabi langar, a sushi and martini bar, a Mongolian grill, and various other ethnic kitchen offerings. Everything you can possibly think of was thrown into the mix. And the wonder of it all was that it was a sustainable business. Sikh enterprise, it is really amazing. You could see dissertation preparations, romance, political intrigue, and underworld deals; all under the same roof. It was a bustling place, with stuff going on all the time.

Yes, all kinds of things happened out here.

Like you might hear this kind of a pick up line, from this weirdo guy who looked like he was buying some add-ons to his takeout. “How do you like selling groceries here for a living, sweetie?”

This bombshell sheer who was behind the counter handling the cash register, she didn’t really care too much but belted one out nonetheless. “I don’t know. How do you like having to buy them till you’re dead from the buying? I’m paid for customer service; I can help you with the dying part if you like.” Whoa, that was a wallop of a piss-off. Like, how could he think she’d be interested? Come on.

She was, of course, surely you’ve guessed it, doing her graduate work in philosophy on the side.

Or the fowl chasing that happened where patrons of white meat whetted their tongues right at the mouth of the river. But let’s not get too much into the details of that.

Dik noticed a couple of guys in the G&B, shooting the stars. In the old days on earth, there used to be a notion of shootin’ the breeze. That was a way of how human beings used to contribute to the growth of consciousness. Out here at the OSS, breeze was at a premium, but hey, stars were there for the asking. So, the idea got transmogrified to shooting the stars.

Dik settled in for a pint, and let their shooting drift over him, ease the time.

Kanwaljit and Habshi – they were a throwback duo harkening back to the old philosophical pair of Calvin and Hobbes.

And much in the vein of the old guys, these dudes had their own version of the Prisoner’s Dilemma going on, dealing with the fate of man, OSS and beyond.

Kanwaljit was of Sikh origin, and retained his turban although practically everyone was a Hoodist these days. Kanwal was a bouncer at the Burp, which was the sports bar out at Half Town | He was on an off duty recon to Komango.

Jadui Habshi was a Spin Genie; that is to say, a SpaceTime Engineer.

Actually, the two of them were performing a bleak take experiment of how the mind of man works these days.

It was a dialog variety called quietus – parousia – quietus. It was a kind of Komango Blues.

Kanwal was more like the ancient Hobbes, in the sense of being of a dark and somber nature. The old guy used to say that man’s natural disposition is a state of war. Kanwal would concur without a doubt.

They were lazing around on a couple of Tharra charpoys, which were basically fiber hammocks where you could load yourself with some appropriately inebriating chemical influences and watch the worlds go by. Kanwal started the dialog:


th’ stars’re all plummetin’ down

The sun is out at the moment

And we’ve got our air on hold.”

Their dialog was drawn from neo-tribal chants from some of the burgeoning social structures arising out of the space bound life patterns.

Habshi was the one who traced his line back to the old Calvin. He believed in predestination and Telos. His take at that, in response to Kanwal’s dirge call, was:

“Some jaded gods are totin’ up our odds, and

Much of our tales’re untold.”

After some keen intake of a potent liquid much too stark for us to be able to name here, Kanwal took the next step. And it was a bounteous step, without question.

“Chasms are yawning

Miasmas are moaning…

Howling halitus,

Fall-on detritus.

There’s death in the air and

There’s death on the ground



I’m hit in the pit of my stomach

I’ll not be getting much older

There’s blood on my head

(I see) my chips a spinnin’ off o my shoulder.”

And then, Habshi put in his dark streak bit.


I sat up the night, waitin’ the rats out

(and) sidled my way thru daylight and then I crashed out.”

And then they both chanted together:


Some years from now when

Our bones are dust

And the mountains’ve grown down

We’ll wrest back Existence, from the tracks left in Distance and Time


Some more deep intakes, and a moment later Kanwal gestured for Dik to come on over.

“Hello, fool.” Dik was offended. Kanwal guffawed, and decided to explain. “You know, eBay lads like you are known here as fools. That stands for ‘Fresh off of Lizzie’, you see? So where are you bound for?” It seemed Kanwal had a good bit of mood fluctuation going for him, from dark to airhead.

Dik laughed. He told them his destination was Half Town |, and Kanwal whistled.

Not many went that a way these days.

“So you still have some Lizzie to go, huh. Well, you know what, we will meet again then. I am from there myself. By the way, talking of Lizzie, how did you do with Matka?”

Dik reported his progress, and was also wondering if he should ask them about Yum, but something held him back.

“I hold the patents for Matka”, Habshi said, displaying the first positive emotion that Dik could see on him, that of pride.

This guy was the inventor of the game. Huh.

They ordered another round of Tharra, and started discussing Guleil.

Metric Engineering was something that not many people on earth knew anything about. And those who did know, they knew hardly any detail. And Guleil was just barely beginning to reach the public mind on earth. Knowledge of the prior two details had been for classified minds only. So Dik was of course hit quite hard by the scope of the discussions. His mind was boggling at the new realities opening up as he ventured further out along the OSS trail.

“Why do we deploy the swarmbots on Ghedawdhyer, why do we jump the window? If we just send the ships, they’ll reach eventually. Why should we do this?”

“Communication, Kanwal. That’s why.” Habshi replied. “To be sure, only Irma has managed to signate to us at the Hoary Outback. But at least she has.”

“And gradually, as we know how to communicate, we will all be able to talk.  Across the Universe, yes we will. And then will come the day of: EmPyre.” So said Habshi, and all went hush.

From knows only God where, there came a sense of the beyond on to the gatherers, something that was yet to come but had been foretold of. With this occurrence, Habshi acquired the stature of an Oracle.

Note: Read the complete Guleil Series:

Cover pic by ▓▒░ TORLEY ░▒▓.

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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.