A computer science fiction serial

Part 1 of 7


"If I can't be with you in this World, I'll be with you in the next."

- Interspace developer

With one hand I steer my red '31 Ford Mustang down a road that runs like a crack between two farms, and with the other I pull Fiona's hair back behind her ears so I can look into her eyes.

"Where would you like to go today, my darling?"

Her eyes narrow as she looks out at the sprawling fields of sunflowers growing slowly in the morning sun ahead of us.

"Hmmmm..." she hums between ruby red lips. "How about Portland? We can check out a couple thrift stores, maybe find new coats for winter!"

"Portland it is." I step on the gas and pixel-perfect fields fly by in a motion blur.

We pull into a gravel lot next to the airport and park; stroll across faded black tarmac and hop into the tight embrace of our plane’s beige cockpit; taxi past dusty unused planes en route to the runway; turn onto its scraggly yellow centerline; align to it; push the throttle to full – engines roars to life and wind whistles past our streamlined metal body–and at fifty knots I pull the yoke and our wheels leave pavement: we are airborne; freed from the clutches of Mother Earth. Land pulls steadily away as we climb higher and higher into the sky.

"Drink?" Fiona asks at cruise altitude.

"Yes ma’am," I smile as she hands me a beer from the cooler behind our seats.

Drones can’t fly in my World so I don't bother scanning for traffic. Instead, I watch mountains, rivers, and highways as they disappear below our wings. Fiona sits with her feet on her chair, knees pulled up to her chest, reading her favorite book, Brave New World, for the thirtieth time. Somehow, she looks just as intrigued by it now as when I saw her read it the third time.

"How are you enjoying the story?"

She sets the book down and looks at me.

"I hear John dies at the end," a grin forms on my dumb, smug face.

She glares at me and her lips roll into her mouth like she does when she's angry. Then, as if nothing happened, she buries her head back between the pages of her book and resumes reading, all anger drained from her face.

"Darling, is everything alright?"

She looks up at me long enough to smile.

“Of course, Dear,” she says as she continues reading.

We fly a short way over fields and more mountains, over another river, and then we are in Oregon. Forests blanket the folding ridges on earth below us, rugged, wet, and beautiful. I ponder Fiona’s peculiar reaction to my joke the rest of the flight. We land at Sandy River Airport and take a cab to downtown Portland.

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