Science Fiction and Fantasy | An Indian Experience

Guleil: Ghosts - Part 7 A Serialised Novel By Som Nandivada |
Issue 30

Guleil: Part 7 – The First Leg – A Serialised Novel By Som Nandivada

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“On the way in here, I saw Taurus and the Pleiades, and some kind of a shimmer and shake was going on, or so it seemed in my mind at least. “said Dik to Habshi and Kanwal. He was referring to his entry into Komango, and the skies of Triton.

“It looked as though Taurus was a V-shaped basket and the cluster of Pleiades was like a ball looking to play, wobbling and bobbing all back and forth. Must have been during the pullbacks I think. And so, I got to wonder, do the constellations change relative apparent positions at the other end of Guleil?” He asked further.

“Probably they do. I’d be surprised otherwise.” Replied Kanwal cursorily, as his mind seemed elsewhere.

A bit of a hubbub had slowly gathered momentum at the G&B, sort of in compensation for the hush after Habshi’s Great Big Moment of Truth.

Komango was a junction in a true sense of the word. And on Komango, the G&B was where most of the in-transit travelers tended to aggregate.

“So, Jadui, what is gg(i+1)in essence? What is your take on a breakdown of its structure?” A gentleman somewhat scraggly and untidy of habit was looking to initiate some polemics with Habshi. His name was D’bey, Kanwal informed Dik. D’bey was a pharmacist at the local drug store. His interests ranged far and wide, including the inner workings of Guleil. Considering that he was stationed permanently at this junction location, it was a natural thing for him, of course.

D’bey was a sharp dude. He could reach to the inner juices.

From their discussions, Dik figured out that gg(i+1) was shorthand for  gguleil(i+1).

And guleil(i+1) referred to the i+1th iteration of Guleil, that is to say, the next intended trip.

“Eh, Kanwal, help me out here. So, firstly, what is gg(i)?” Dik asked.

“Well, let us first understand ‘g’ Dik.” Kanwal said.

“Take the field equations for gravitation: G_{ab} = R_{ab} - {1 \over 2}R g_{ab}, where G_{ab} = R_{ab} - {1 \over 2}R g_{ab}, with G = c = 1.

Solutions for these equations are metrics of spacetime, of the form g_x(u,v) = g_x(v,u) \in \mathbb{R}, and that is basically what g is. Matter has Mind.

That is the essential truth. Magnetohydrodynamics of the outer solar system and suchlike stuff they create the conditions for the about-to-be-guleiled world to trick itself into guleildom and to perform a self conjuration on to an exotic metric.”

“What is a metric? I’ve heard the term bandied about all over, but what exactly is it?” asked Dik.

“A metric, oh well, it is something that captures the geometric and causal structure of spacetime. That is to say, it is a symmetric bilinear form on each tangent space of M which varies in a smooth (or differentiable) manner from point to point. Given two tangent vectors u and v and a point x in M, the metric can be evaluated on u and v to give a real number g” Kanwal paused, to make sure Dik was still on board.

And then, satisfied that Dik was getting it, he continued. “With the quantity dxμ being an infinitesimal coordinate displacement, the metric acts as an infinitesimal invariant interval squared or a line element. And so it is that one can also use the notation ds2 for the metric: ds^2 = g_{\mu\nu}dx^\mu dx^\nu.\

Kanwal was helpful in terms of explaining and simplifying matters, but Dik couldn’t quite stay focused on the topic. His mind moved on to other things, like getting drunk and having a blast. He headed across to the bar, and there was a girl there who looked like she could mix some. He ordered a Shirqa highball.

The air had a sharp buzz. He wondered what was going on.

“Wraith fumes,” said the bargirl. “It is said to be some kind of elemental burn that cuts through the air whenever polemics or fundamental precepts are uncovered. Jadui and D’Bey are the real deal, you know.  Patterns come together, numbers dance around you, and shapes click into lockstep in your mind. Wraith fumes do that to you. It is much more than a buzz in the air.”

Wraith fumes: it was apparently other-worldly signals from the past – from the corridors of the academia, from Egyptian Alexandria to the IAS in Princeton, and beyond. It continued on to this day and on, and manifested itself at any heightened situations where minds were at work, like with Jadui and D’Bey.

“Oh hey, wow, and hello!”

This cry of welcome came from the entry area of the G&B. Two austere and yet quite volatile ladies were being heralded in.

They were introduced as Anita and Amlia, the Arachnid Ladies of the Hoodist Order. They were head priestesses of the order. They were bedecked in sparkling bustiers made of precious stones and spun metals, and in a high spirit of contrast, they were accompanied by a mellow entourage of soft clad subordinate priestesses and contemplative monks.

“Irma the Resplendent, she will arrive. Here, and very soon. Right here at this grill and bar. Everyone rejoice.” said Anita.

Note: Read the complete Guleil Series:

Cover pic by Bryan Alexander.

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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.