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Mid February It’s been two months since I arrived in Marquette. I’ve been doing nothing but working, sleeping and eating. I have traveled around the solar system in that time, but not in a wide degree. I had gone to Tycho City on Luna recently to be tutored in an optional life science project for a job promotion. About Venus, the planet of Love, her story is peculiar. Most people live on Luna, but some people are too stubborn or poor to leave the hot surface, it’s a wonder people are here at all. The Venison history says that it consists mostly of Terrans repeating themselves. A while back, Venus was declared habitable with a breathable atmosphere. At the time, it was marketed as ‘The Planet of Love’. The rich folk made high-end De Stijl and Deconstructivism homes and shops. Several years later, trips and living became affordable and Venus split into two zones, The Planet of Love, and the Planet of Tough Love. PTL was where the slums were formed and it all went downhill. It’s still like that today. Luna though, is different. My observation from above Tycho City shows that the city is nothing but a big bio dome. Its about sixteen kilometers wide with little pods ejecting out of it for ships to dock, so it looked like a huge spider with far too many short little legs. The main color of the dome was blue, but only because it was daytime in there. The glass dome replicates an atmosphere and becomes transparent at night. It almost looked like a blue piece of 1
mold from afar. Another city is in development across the surface called Artemis, connected by tunnel 30 kilometers long, leading away from Tycho. It is partly inhabitable, but is only thirty-five percent finished and should be done in a year and a half. I think another one is on the way after that. I also noticed some farmland at the very top where some fruit and exports are made. The structuring looked like a tall and stiff blue pyrotechnics explosion to me, but I didn’t get a good look when I was landing just a few hours ago. After leaving a medical session at TMA-1M.D., I was flying low along the street side storefronts via Hiyou Enerugiitai, on my way back to my Nagare. My belt doesn’t work very well because of the heat and it gains solar power via Terras ring reflections. I had a constant fear of falling, but I was two meters above the main sidewalk street side. It wouldn’t be a bad fall, but a painful one nonetheless. My first impression when I arrived was little ancient Tokyo. At least an eighth of the buildings were shaped like pagodas, and the metal buildings were painted in a way that they looked like shoji and other Asian buildings at ground level. I also noticed that there was no open space except on the walkways. Several people were walking about, but they were quiet and doing some business and trades. The sky, or the top of the dome was blue and had no clouds, and the ground was grassy with dark grey cobblestones with grass growing between the cracks. It looked just like old Japan, but with modern technology fit in where it was necessary. The street I was on had Asian style architecture, and about a block away, it had shop merchants and shops like a Middle Eastern town. I was looking at each storefront I was passing looking to find some food, when I almost passed this by, a place by
the name of Verus Statua Bellator schola. I left it alone, until I read the subtitle. It said, Martial Arts Dojo. Make a wish apon a falling star… Knowing that I studied Karate, and that I haven’t seen any dojos in Marquette, and my hobby that I wanted to do with Johnny on top of those, I panicked and instantly landed to rush back. I ran up, took a glance inside, and saw a white mat with some pictures on the wall. I started to open the door, but hesitated. I thought ahead to check my plans. When I got back to the hotel, I was going to eat, and then muck off until fourteen hundred hours tomorrow when I have to take another session in life science and teach my body what my mind already knows. That and I would be taking Dr. Joshi’s advice by moving on without Johnny, and honoring him with some hobbies... something else about what Dr. Joshi said was ringing in my mind, but it wasn’t coming to form, but I cant quite remember… I ignored it and went inside. I walked in, and instantly heard a babbling brook. I couldn’t place where it was though. The room was mostly empty, except for the white mat a door to my right, three chairs, and some fractals paintings of a boundary of the Mandelbrot set, the phoenix, and Julia sets, and the Newton fractals. Math must be harmony in nature or something. The door nearby opened up, and I almost died when I saw who came out. The girl was at least one point eight meters tall and dressed in a sleeveless teal dress to her knees; she also had a shiny black Hedy. Her face looked very kind and gentle, like she did not know what evil was. Her hair was a very light brown with even lighter highlights in a loose bun. I knew this lady from somewhere…
I started to breath heavily, and wondered where I had seen her before. I forced myself to calm down so that I wouldn’t raise suspicion and worked with the lady. “Hello child. Welcome to my Dojo for enlightenment. My name is Zophia, I am the clone of the old Zophia,” she said. I tilted my head and spoke. “That’s an interesting name…” I said with a cracking voice. Zophia smiled sweetly and walked in front of the three chairs. “It is a variant of the name Sophia, which is a Greek name meaning wisdom and understanding. Sophia is the lowest aeon, or anthropic expression of the emanation of the light of God.” She said whilst tending to the babbling brook that was hidden from me behind the chairs. I felt strange about her. I had a feeling that she was a huge nut job, but I felt compelled to stay with her due to her strong yet vague familiarity. I cleared my throat, and walked up to her. I wanted to get to the point. “My names Fran Magnolia. I am a purple belt in Karate, and I wanted to know where to find some good places in Marquette Michigan on Terra. I have not been able to study and improve my skills because I haven’t seen any dojos. Can you help me?” I asked her. She smiled at me. “Francine. A Native of France who is free and joyous.” She said in her mystical voice. I shook my head. “Actually, I’m from Missouri.” I said. Zophia frowned and stretched her arm over to my shoulder, proving to me that she’s an Elastition. “Oh how terrible Child…” she said sadly, and took her arm off. It was still curved and shapeless. I’ve seen some Elastitions on Terra, and even treated two or three, but I’m not used to the whole concept yet. “Tell me about it…” I muttered, thinking of my Misery. 4
“Are you a purple belt with stripe or no stripe?” she asked to change the subject. I shook my head. “No stripe, second kyu, and you?” I asked. Zophia smiled. “I am a black belt Judan.” She said humbly and with a hint of laughter. I sneered at her. “No your not, Judan can only be attained in the Hanguk Kiwon or Nihon Ki-in. You couldn’t have that rank.” I said. Zophia chuckled, and she walked back over to the previous door she came out of. I followed and looked around the other side. It was a store. I was standing behind a sales counter with a few open books nearby. Beyond that, I saw rows and rows of books, more paintings of various Mandelbrot sets, different variations of candles, and incense that smelled like…like grandma. The store was painted dark purple and black too. Zophia sat at a computer typing away, in search for data. “Alright… Marquette, Francine Magnolia... there we are.” She said. I walked up and took a better look. Zophia hunched over and read the information displayed. I could see my profile on the screen. The picture was recent, and I remember the day that one was taken. The information displayed with the photo was my personal stats, age, home, job, and Aexom knowledge packets. “They put my forms out for all to see?” I asked feeling slightly violated. Zophia nodded. “They need to put everyone’s profile out and only a few people get access to anyone they please. The information I can see will tell if one has experience like a fox, or are they as delicate as the newborn rabbit.” She studied the screen for a minute, and then she looked at me.
“Nothing is present. Child, due to the lack of data on your part, I need to evaluate you to see which dojo is right. Evaluation has a fee attached, if you weren’t aware,” she said. I hesitated in doubt. “What?” I asked, but I quickly realized what subject she was referring to, sensei’s request cash for newcomers. “Oh! Err… how much?” I asked, pulling the card from my dress pocket. Zophia answered automatically. “Evaluation costs one thousand dollars. You will receive a free sport Hedy, and data disk though.” She said. I pulled my card out, and sighed. “Alright, but I’m not entirely sure about this.” I said worryingly, and handed her my card. Zophia scanned it in the machine, which pulled the right amount of money out. I checked the total to see if I wasn’t swindled or not, and was handed my Missourian card. “Thank you.” I said. Zophia stood up and walked out past me. “You are very welcome Francine.” She said and clapped once. “Call me Kyoko please.” I said while walking back into the gym. Zophia smiled and looked back at me. “Kyoko Yamagutchi?” she started. “The one who made it so that no one needed money in Japan to own a normal home, buy normal food, and normal needs?” she asked. I smiled and nodded. I had been trying to remember that for a long time. Zophia chuckled and turned back to the computer. My Aexom brought up the buried knowledge quickly. Mrs. Yamagutchi declared that Terrans were too good for money and she worked for the cause of everything that is useful to cost no money, though only on primary items. 6
Her ideas spread through over 25% of all mankind; she’s where my nickname came from. Zophia opened a small cabinet behind her, and rummaged through it. “You are here to see what knowledge you possess. Allow me to test something. Here.” Zophia didn’t playfully toss a bag like willy-nilly; she threw it at me! Before I could protest, I realized that I had caught it flawlessly, though I wasn’t surprised. I stared at the metallic silver bag I could see my refection in, and then glared at Zophia with a frown. She smiled “Oh yes, you have got the ember of a warrior. The bag contains one chrome Sport Hedy with purple stripes. It is different from my own, which is a black Hedy with one orange stripe on each side of my body.” She said. I nodded. “Thank you.” I said and headed to the bathroom and put it on. Zophia stopped me though by curling her arms around me gently. “Excuse me, wait.” She said. She turned me around and retracted her arms. “You are an Elastition, are you not?” she frowned. I shook my head. “No…” Zophia bit her lower lip and crossed her arms. “I only deal in Elastitions child, and it would be a great misfortune to let you go…” she said softly. “Should I become an Elastition then? Why would it be bad to let me go?” I asked. Zophia looked at me. “Only if you wish.” She responded. Something nagged me in the back of my mind, but I couldn’t reach it. I nodded.
“I suppose.” I said, thinking of Johnny. Zophia smiled and led me back into the gym. We walked toward the back of the room where another door lay. “I feel a great presence from you Francine. We shall create you anew, and free you from your limits in a conventional Terran body.” She said and opened the door.
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