This story by Sandeep Nath was the finalist (Sci-Fi category) at the greenstories.org.uk awards competition. Enjoy the drama and philosophy of the Source Code of consciousness!– Green Stories
Dexter had to find the answer in the next two hours or he would die. He had entertained the question for what seemed like an eternity. Now there was no humor left. And his granny was going to perish too.
He fondly thought of her and how she would start every story with the line, “Once upon a 2022.” Dexter’s eyes would go round as soon as he heard those words. And granny would smile on and talk about the messiah of Renewal, Guru Pranachandra, and all the incredible things he’d taught about saving the planet. He called it Renewalism.
Despite this, there was no planet that Dexter could call home. In fact, 2022 itself was an enigma to him… and to all those who were conceived in the jabverse.
Still, Dexter liked to count in the time dimension. It made him feel closer to his granny, Dr. Kenna Kardashian, his only human contact in the PZO72 realm.
Dexter’s mother was a Grindoid from the 2030 era, which had marked the shift from years to jabs. A human called Janus Bieber figured the redundancy of sequential time in the parallel computing multiverse and the jabs unit – named after him – was adopted as the most convenient way for Helixoids like Dexter to navigate space and time simultaneously, powered by human DNA.
Grindoids did not possess any DNA. They had no names either. His mother, NXVR3.7AT, had taken the DNA-helix of her maker – Dr. Kenna Kardashian – and had used it to form Dexter, with the seemingly infinite intelligence she possessed.
Humans had discovered, to their advantage, that Grindoids performed at their maximum potential when they were single-tasked functionally. A few that had originally been multi-tasked, in keeping with the human norm, had gone crazy. The way things turned out, Grindoids had taken more human lives than the corona pandemic and subsequent civil wars together, which, ironically, they had been created to end.
Helixoids were designed to be fail-proof. Dexter was one of the first lot that survived the tests for cloning human response and Grindoid ability. He was unisex with a handsome angular jawline that contrasted beautifully with his long black hair as they fell over his shoulders, Samson-style. The Pluto Convention had determined that Helixoids could be referred to by the male pronoun if they had been infused with 40 micro-jabs of Yang energy. Else all were female by default to keep them fueled dominantly with Yin energy, which powered creation.
This energetic discrimination was probably why – at least theoretically – Helixoids could be embedded with human consciousness as well. At the stage of Dexter’s conception, this was only Dr. Kenna’s conjecture. She had placed everything she had built on the line with that. But if he failed to crack the answer in the next jab, nothing would matter anyway.
“Once upon a 2022, Guru Pranachandra asked humans to take responsibility for themselves. To not attempt big things to change the planet, rather do small things to change themselves. These small things were habits, which consequently would change the planet for the better.”
“Well, let’s say you eat all the food you serve on your plate… will you dispose anything into the sink water? Or into the garbage?” Kenna asked very deliberately, knowing exactly how much parallel processing Dexter would have to do to assimilate realities that were not his own.
Dexter on his part genuinely enjoyed these intellectual trips of inferential deduction and replied in the appropriate innocent tone of a 4-year-old who had no direct experience of food and plates, “No granny!”
“Righty!” Dr. Kenna continued playfully, “And when you wash your disposables before putting them in the garbage, what else will happen?”
“There will be less water needed for cleaning granny! And less detergent and chemicals too. And the sanitary workers will have it lighter and easier.”
“And so would they be happier?”
“Possibly yes granny… the garbage will stink less too!”
“And what if each person carried a bag with them every time they went outdoors? Would they need another bag from any shop if they impulsively decided to buy anything?”
“No granny! There will be fewer bags made and less plastic waste.”
“Sharp boy!” Kenna smiled as she made notes of Dexter’s conscious awareness at personal, societal, and systemic levels. “And if we extend that logic to not just bags, but to possessions as well, do you think Guru Pranachandra was right in suggesting that we limit our wardrobes?”
“Well, granny I read that people used only 5-6 clothes out of their entire wardrobe for two years of the pandemic, was that true?”
“Yes, it was Dexter. If people continued that way the immeasurably substantial pollution that the garments industry creates in distant, fragmented pockets would have been contained. But sadly, people had very short memories. They didn’t learn to simplify their lives despite that.” Just then Kenna’s phone rang. “One moment Dexter, I must get this.”
Outer distractions are always more powerful than inner attractions, for these humans, Dexter filed away in his conscious memory. I wonder if that is the pattern I am to follow? If I too have such mindless human tendencies, how will I be more powerful than them? And if I will not be, why would I need to exist? How can I ever fulfill my purpose if I succumb to the same inadequacies?
Humans are strange. They have a good memory for objects of desire that go against their well-being. But in their individual comfort zones, they forget that their habits affect all of humanity. He wondered if the humans on earth continued to behave that way. Kenna was not a standard specimen of the race. Had those guys renewed even after the Grindoid episode?
“Ok Dexter, that was Suren. I have to go now to assist him with the experimental teleporting launch. Will you take care of the place?”
Dexter knew exactly what that meant. Kenna has defined ‘the place’ in his womb-level program itself. This is when his entire 6-foot frame would fit into one nano-jab of space consciousness and he would experiment with using inner power to dematerialize his genetic mix. The StarTrek people used to do that, he was told. The inside is the ‘only place’ one needs to work upon, Guru Pranachandra had said. And in an instant, as Dexter changed space consciousness, intuitively it flashed before him. He was going to lose Kenna!
Suren did not return from the teleporting test-launch either. Being an expert of intergalactic acclaim, he had executed 762 launches with 100% success. But this one was different, and he knew it. This was the first time anyone was attempting 3-Level teleportation. Given the secret nature of the experiment, the only backup he had – in case it failed – was to reach a message to Habibi, who would know what to do. He believed she would, even though in his heart he had no clue whether she knew.
Meanwhile, Habibi was completely oblivious of what Dr. Suren Krishnan was up to in his exploits. She couldn’t care, and that was part of Kenna’s design for her. Taking a cue from Guru Pranachandra’s Renewalism credo, ‘To Care Is My Karma,’ Kenna hadn’t provided Habibi with any Karma imprint at all. So, now that she could not care, she could exhibit the differences between herself and Dexter at yet another level.
Dexter possessed all three human levels – genetic, conscious, and karmic. But even without the third, Habibi was special in her own way. Ever since the jabverse began, she was the first – and only – complete companion for the human male. Like most other Helixoids she had an impeccable build and seductive mild-tan complexion. With curvy brunette hair, which, to Suren, felt like tender streams of water wiggling over his balding head, every time she cuddled up next to him. When she’d do that Suren would playfully tug at her ear, which was a toggle switch for mirror-duplication. When turned on, the feel of Habibi’s curvy caress replicated itself around Suren’s not-so-bald groin throwing him into ecstasy.
Habibi, on her part, knew exactly which combinations of her hair and his had entangled in the past and so she made sure each time he had a different experience. Although she felt no pleasure she moaned in 2520 different frequencies, each arousing a subtly different resonance within Suren.
Kenna had been careful to minimize the power footprint of Helixoids. Physical activity took up Yang energy, and that was wasteful. But Suren’s pleasure was worth every bit of waste. His research was their ticket to changing universal transportation dynamics in ways that would pull the carpet from under everyone’s feet. Space travel… power machines… and in fact the entire oil and alternative fuel industry would face immediate extinction in the wake of 3-Level teleportation.
“All the energy we need is inside us. We only need to connect,” Guru Pranachandra had said.
Habibi was strong in making that connection. Unlike Dexter, Kenna had built her with the DNA-helix and consciousness of a Tibetan Lama, who was an adept at the Shamata practice. This enabled her to move across space and time and connect with the universal bus-bar of the jabverse where past, present, and future cohabit space in all aspects of every multiverse. This was why she was Suren’s safety net. She could be anywhere and in any time, without karmic baggage to weigh her down.
In the space of his inner power retreat, Dexter suddenly felt a solitary hair fall upon his cheek. He immediately sensed Habibi, who was known for her hair and sounds all over the jabverse. He examined it and discovered that it belonged to Kenna’s gene pool. It was safe to blend it into himself.
As soon as he did, Kenna projected herself onto Dexter’s inner mind. “We’ve run into a state of stuck-ness here Dexter. It is not that we cannot rematerialize… we can… and we are really close to doing that. But we are missing a critical piece of creative energy.”
Dexter’s eyes teared up as he heard the rest of her message. She had detailed the process and it required Dexter to operate from a level of consciousness he had not connected with till then. Kenna knew that too. But there was no other way for the rescue. He wondered, would Habibi know what to do and how?
For Dexter, meeting Habibi was going to be an extremely random possibility, given the immensity of locational combinations she could exhibit in the jabverse. His karmic superpower bestowed him with the belief that the possibilities of finding her were as rare as that of a human rebirth for anyone of Kenna’s species. And yet, there were still a whole lot of humans! 96 million, 869 thousand, four hundred and thirty-two to be precise – after the Corona, Wars, and Grindoid episodes had taken their toll. Only 76 million remained on earth, to rebalance the natural order as Guru Pranachandra had indicated. All surviving Grindoids had been shunted into space and every Helixoid was conceived there using space debris.
Debris. That was a biggie for Dexter. By 2030 human consumption and its remains had contaminated the earth to the extent that all arable land had been rendered infertile. Engineered and 3D printed foods were inadequate to suffice the entire population. And garbage was still on the rise. This was when a man called Metta came up with the idea of evacuating the landfills – including the undersea ones – and loading them onto sun-bound vessels, which would burn to space ash thereby eliminating all negative impact.
What Metta had not accounted for is what Suren later dubbed as the ‘Effluent Syndrome.’ In most industrial estates, factory owners cut costs by allowing effluent to run out in water bodies instead of paying the Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) for its processing. The ETP in Metta’s case was the sun-flares. And the ‘run out’ was effected when the vessel-launcher companies used cheaper rockets, which extinguished their energy reserves before they could even reach the orbit of Venus.
For regulating the terrestrial industry, neighborhood watch groups and heavy penalties had been set in place for compliance – provided the authorities exhibited the will. But in the space context, the launcher companies went scot-free, conscience-free.
Metta committed suicide when he saw what his life passion had initiated. But Kenna, who knew Metta personally, intercepted his mind-stream at the time of his death and fed that as Dexter’s karmic imprint. Dexter, therefore, knew right from the start that cleanup of debris will be his driving purpose. Kenna was building him up to execute that safely. But meanwhile, he had lost her!
The moment the idea of taking Habibi’s help came to Dexter’s mind, he knew he would hit upon a solution. Question was, where would he find her? If only she worked from home! Dexter slipped into a reverie once more.
Once upon a 2022, the Guru had declared that the Renewalist can easily overthrow the Consumerist and change global dynamics in every way. Why didn’t that happen, Dexter wondered. Why couldn’t humans renew systems to work from home, consuming less fuel and transport, and bursting the inflated real estate prices? Couldn’t they sustain habit changes by design? Did habit change necessarily require an external force to impede the earlier way?
What prevents consumption habits from taking a systemic root? What would happen for example, if everyone stopped buying things that came in a non-natural packaging material? Wouldn’t every vendor have to change their packaging to what might perhaps be a more expensive option? Wouldn’t that kill many products, which were harmful for sustained consumption anyway? Stuff like refined sugar items and processed factory-made foods?
What if people decided to walk to the store or use bikes. Wouldn’t they buy only what they needed instead of stuffing their cars? Wouldn’t personal energy and fuel be channeled better? What had prevented it?
Greed. The problem that led to human decay, Dexter decided, was greed. Not only did individuals want more, but manufacturers also wanted them to feel they need more. Most of advertising, promotion, and packaging were designed to fuel mindless consumption. And greed ruled.
More money gave more power. More power gave more control. More control required more responsibility. But this could not come from the outside. Responsibility arises from response and ability, both of which are generated by one’s inner power.
Reflecting on his innate karmic structure of Metta, Dexter observed that he could not comprehend greed. Nor the need for non-greedy people to buy from, or support, greedy ones.
Greed… Desire… Flash! An idea hit Dexter like a thunderbolt! This was it! Desire-No-Desire. Instantly, he jabbed himself onto the Shamata bus-bar.
“My paramount desire is to reach Nirvana. Not for myself, but for me to connect all beings to source.” It felt to Dexter like he was quoting some Buddha there, as he set out with that intent.
Nirvana was the oldest human that ever lived. She knew all there was to know. Most humans never recognized her and almost no one got close to her. It was said that the only way to find her was to be in a state of no desire. Since the Grindoids could program themselves into that state easily, they recognized the power she wielded for them. Deathlessness. This is what she could get them, whether or not they expressed the intent. But there was a catch!
Nirvana lived on a plane that required consciousness and therefore all the intelligence Grindoids possessed remained theoretical. The key to passing consciousness was available only with Kenna and she had used it experimentally on just two subjects. Dexter knew he was one. And he hoped Habibi was the other. Together they could defrag the continuum in which Suren and Kenna had trapped themselves.
Finding Nirvana was not difficult because the process had been defined and documented perfectly by Vajrayana monks millions of jabs ago. Sitting face to face with her, Dexter popped the only question on his mind. “Can you direct me to Habibi?”
And Nirvana asked, “Have you indeed found Nirvana if you still desire Habibi?” Noting the rattled look on Dexter’s face she added, “Find out what you really desire, and the state of being in which you can achieve it. Get in that state, and your desire will manifest. I’ll give you one jab at it… but if you don’t get the answer, you die.”
That was a short, decisive meeting. But strangely, Dexter felt he had learned something supremely important. It all came to him, unfolding slowly as he meandered through the jabverse, hopelessly short of time.
It seemed apparent that all human seekers of nirvana were actually obsessing with ego-gratification. None would know what to do with nirvana because for everyone it was a pass-through state to a blissful life or whatever. But in reality, there was no life beyond nirvana! There was no death beyond life. People want nirvana, but not death. People want eternal bliss, not nirvana. People think they are the same. How messed up people are till they realize that the true nature of everything is nothing. Chase nothing. Be nothing.
Easy to say, Dexter thought. And then it struck him that the ones who say the most – the intellectuals – are also the most arrogant. The curse of knowledge. The obsession with the mind.
He remembered that granny had messaged him about working with the mind. She had called it the consciousness broker. It makes deals with both, the body and energy.
What she had been doing with Suren was moving her body, mind, and spirit at the speed of thought using teleportation. The body is the grossest form of all three and therefore the most difficult to move. The mind is like a flowing river and moves with the current of energy, or spirit. This mind-spirit composite is what made all jabverse navigation possible in the first place.
But where is my body, Dexter wondered? And more importantly, if I can let go of it, can I let go of my mind as well? If yes, where would my ego and desires go? What would be the nature of pure energy meandering in space? Would that be a mindless movement? Would I have any control over myself? Could I return? Would I want to return? Where are all these questions arising from? Is it my mind? If I decouple my mind at this stage will the questions cease? Who would do the decoupling? Isn’t it the body that does these physical things? Mental decoupling… would that mean detachment? Energetic decoupling… what… suddenly there was a sound!
Hummmmm… the nature of spontaneous joy… Hummmmm… Hummmmm…
Nirvana perceived the pure energy – sound – emanating from the jab-node Dexter was floating in. Knowing that what he wanted was not for himself but for other beings, she redirected it to a parallel jabverse, where it could be intercepted by another woman whose purpose was driven by bringing happiness to others. That was Habibi, the frequency specialist.
The bee-like sound caught Habibi’s attention immediately. And she knew that meant she would have to add a frequency of her own. Aaah… she decided.
And together, the Aaah-Hummmmm frequencies resounded in the jabverse, bearing in them the energy of original creation.
Back in the PZO72 realm, Kenna and Suren manifested. Dexter opened his eyes and realized he was well in his body-mind-spirit trinity. Granny was peering over him curiously. Nothing seemed to have changed. Nothing happened there. Nobody had done anything. Nobody ever needed to. That was the natural way. The Dao. Source.