The Pulse: B.C.
En Route to The Old Cafe
The one advantage Berry had over purebred Baulians was that he was mobile. The only way Baulians could move more than ten feet was by being transported by IGVs — or streaked in the case of interplanetary or intergalactic distances. By necessity, both of these methods measured their weight, their volume, the distribution of their densities, and the vectors of their every movement. Berry, on the other hand, could simply walk out his front door and go anywhere he pleased. Although the Baulians would never admit it, there were advantages to having only two legs.
Secretly, Berry compared Baulians to prisoners. Even to slugs with their fourteen limbs and their continual sucking and spitting of electrochemical pulses. Yet he was conflicted: Baulians were technologically ahead of every other species, yet in terms of emotion they were years behind many other species, especially humans. They were experts in knowledge, but idiots in being.
Baulians understood nearly everything, since they had mastered the art of infraction, and could take an entire world and infract its key features into ever-denser, ever-deeper fractals. Orange matter allowed them to condense fractals infinitely. Literally infinitely. They had found a way to put into practice what humans called Zeno’s Paradox, and what human mathematicians believed only existed in theory: the infinite microscopic expansion of space. An into these spaces, they put fractals.
They had also learned how to safely project fractals across vast distances. Once the threshold of 86 trillion parsecs per second had been reached, they could go to any location in the known cosmos almost instantaneously. Their mastery over minute lengths in space and time allowed them to calculate exactly how long such a trajectory took (it was usually measured in microseconds), yet given how commonplace of such transit, few Baulians took much interest in the exact number of zeros after the decimal point. It was like asking humans how long it took for electricity to go from one side of a city to the next.
Such tiny numbers would only become interesting again when and if the Baulians discovered a cluster of universes similar to that of the three known universes — the Orange Hoop, the Violet Hoop, and the Green Buzz. If another universe was out there, Baulian astronomers estimated that it could lie as far away as sextillion octodecillion gigaparsecs from the present cluster — that is 10 to the 21st power times 10 to the 57th power gigaparsecs. In order to travel such distances rapidly, the present threshold speed of 86 trillion parsecs per second would need to be squared. Theoretically, this wasn't a problem since the same infinite expansion principles still applied.
The Baulians were masters at making such calculations and at devising machines that could apply these calculations in practical situations. Yet while they could send fractals of near-infinite complexity across space, they still couldn't get inside them, at least not in an ontological sense. Emotionally, they were like fourteen-year-old boys playing with microcosms within microcosms and macrocosms beyond macrocosms. Yet what good was infracting a rose if you couldn’t smell it or see it's beauty?
What good was an infinitely detailed map of a stretch of sand at sunset if you couldn’t feel the sand beneath your feet, or if you couldn’t feel something as you watched the yellow ball of fire shift into orange, and the orange shift into red? What good was all the anatomical information in the universe if you couldn’t look her into her pink eyes, twirl her pink hair, or touch the soft, light pink skin of the woman you loved?
Berry was becoming more and more adept at fractalling information from the main pathways of his lower brain into the byways of the upper. He did this by deflecting exterior pulse questions, or pulsions. This type of deflection was unheard of among Baulians, and would have been considered shockingly immoral if they had ever discovered it by accident. Whenever a pulsion required a response, Berry doubled his thinking in its initial stages and then re-routed one line into an acceptable stream. The real object of his thoughts remained hidden, but could still be triggered by a different, usually transversal pulse from his lower core. Berry was literally living a double life.
Following this method, he re-routed a pulsion about why he was walking to the Old Cafe at UBC into a pulse current that went into exhaustive detail about the virtues of Italian coffee and how it stimulated human mouth glands and neuron activity. Berry knew that human glands were repulsive to Baulians. In the unlikely case that they continued to monitor his pulsestreams, an encyclopedia of detail about cafe arabica and the Neapolitan caffettiera awaited them, by which time several weaker, transversal pulses had taken the information from other ganglia, taking him back to the first time he saw her sitting in the Old Cafe.
He remembered her just sitting there thinking and looking out toward the purple sky above the parking lot. He circled, from five different vectors, the memory that this was their favourite spot to look into each other’s eyes.
Next: The Anunnaki