Sanguinis Oculi Mei


“No, no, no, no, no. There is no computer. There’s no database, there’s no network, there’s no one answering the questions.” Charlie scowled and lit his third cigarette, then started violently rubbing his temples.

“I’m sorry, Charlie. Just run through it for me one more time. Alright?” I sipped my coffee and tried to blink sleep from my eyes. I hadn’t slept all night– I’d just played with the Goggles. I’d had them for less than twenty-four hours and I already knew I’d rather do anything– anything– rather than give them up.

“Okay, look. The Goggles contain an n-dimensional transmitter. Our reality, what we can hear, smell, taste, touch– that’s our three dimensions, but it’s actually eleven. They’re all wrapped up small, so you can’t see them– the laws of probability, gravity, time, it’s all strings vibrating in these eleven dimensions, okay?”

I nodded like I knew what the fuck he meant.

“But eleven dimensions aren’t all there are, see? There’s literally an infinite number of dimensions, but ours doesn’t stick out into them. Our universe just holds onto itself, like a raindrop sticking together with surface tension, so it doesn’t spill out into the other umpty jillion dimensions. So in the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and so on and so on, it’s empty in any direction. For light-years, or more literally in Hawking-Reyes emanations.”

I stared into my coffee and idly pulled up information on it with my Goggles: where it had grown, how old it was, what temperature it was, what its chemical breakdown was…

“So, look. You’ve got these empty dimensions, but we can transmit into them, right? Like playing music into an empty concert hall, or making ripples in the ocean. So it’s a matter of stating the question in such a way that the answer is manifestly apparent. The waveform of the question self-propagates into the other dimensions until it bumps into something. So if there IS an answer for a question, you get a ping back–”

“Wait, wait, wait. What do you mean ‘bumps into something?’ That’s–”

Charlie just about snarled. “Look, you’re the one who wanted a layman’s explanation of literally the single most important discovery physics has ever–”

I held up my hands. “Okay, okay. Finish the analogy.”

He sucked at the cigarette like any oxygen that hadn’t been through it wasn’t good enough for him. “Okay, look at what a question is. It’s a breakdown of logical yes and no’s, true or false, zero or one. That’s what a vibration is, that’s one one dimension is. The Goggles ask the universe the question, and the way it’s asked is what means you’ll always get the right answer, if there’s a right answer. There’s a whole book’s worth of questions you can’t ask it.”

I nodded.  “Like if there’s a God.”

Again his raw disgust for my ignorance saturated his already-dour face. “Of course you can ask it if there’s a God, fuckwit. And depending on how you ask it’ll tell you Yes or No, because the way you’re asking is wrong. But if you weren’t an idiot, you’d ask ‘Is there an intelligent entity which was responsible for the creation of the Universe and which has benevolent feelings for the beings of the planet Earth,’ and of course get a resounding NO.”

I shook my head at him. “But I think a religious person would say that if God were physically, testably–”

He threw down his cigarette and threw up his hands. “Blah blah blah blah BLAH, then there’d be no need for faith, O, Faith, the willful suspension of the precise same rationality which we demand in literally every other facet of our lives. If YOU’RE gonna start that metaphysical bullshit with me, then I really am done talking to people.”

He wasn’t wrong. Most of the Leite Officers stopped communicating with human beings within six months of Goggle use.

I stared out across the street, drinking truth through bloodshot eyes.


2 Responses to “Sanguinis Oculi Mei”

  1. Sebatinsky Says:

    “This isn’t going to work.”
    “Get off, this isn’t going to work.”
    “I thought you said it was-”
    “-Well, I was wrong! You’re going to have to take them off.”
    “Karen, we already talked about this – it’s important that I accustom myself to-”
    “-don’t give me that bullshit! It’s not going to hurt you to take them off, and it’s not going to hurt you to admit why you won’t!”
    “I… really, Karen, no bullshit, it just makes me uncomfortable. I’d feel naked – wait, no, that’s not what I meant. Uhm, it’s just… I have no idea what’s going on without them.”
    “For God’s sake, you’ve only had the things for a week! What the hell could they possibly do?”
    “You know I can’t talk about that.”
    “Well, I can’t do this with some kind of bug-man, so I guess we’re at an impasse. Look, I’m getting out of here. You know how to reach me if you ever get up the nerve to take the freaking things off.”

  2. Sebatinsky Says:

    He called up her recent sexual history.
    He took a look at her emotional state. She glowered at him and tried again.
    “Landon, look at me.”
    He was looking at her. She grabbed his chin and pulled his face toward hers. Her hands were warm. Landon looked at her body temperature: normal.
    “Damn it Landon, answer me.”
    She looked… he couldn’t sort out how she looked. He pulled up her emotional state. Apparently she looked less angry now, and more heartbroken, more frightened. The colors used to represent emotional states were interesting. Landon changed them. He changed the colors again. He inverted all colors in the visible spectrum and abolished the emotional graph.
    “Landon, I don’t want to lose you. I don’t want to lose you like this.”
    He pulled up her geneology. She looked a lot like a maternal great grandmother of hers.
    She threw herself against him – tackled him, really. Landon turned, throwing her body around himself, but maintaining a grip on her arm. He used that grip to wrench her back toward him and pin her arm behind her back, lifting at the elbow. She let out a gasp, and Landon checked her pain index and paused. He slowly released pressure and turned her to face him.
    “I’m sorry,” he said.

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