First Contact

For those of you who have begun to read A Xiinisi Trilogy, I suspect you have questions. Many questions. Questions such as: How is it possible to communicate with beings in another dimension? What device is used? Is it some sort of scrying object or is it done on the astral plain during meditation or in dreams? How is the language of the Xiinisi interpreted and understood? And finally and most importantly, in the account of Ule’s journey there is a brief mention of Earth having been frozen in its final age of existence. This would indicate that the events which unfold in A Xiinisi Trilogy happened far, far in the future. Does this mean time travel is involved as well?

Yes, many questions indeed, and I will answer them to the best of my ability, but be forewarned: My understanding of physics is deeply limited, and I dread trying to repeat anything the Xiinisi have explained to me about how it is possible for us to communicate with one another. As far as I’ve been able to determine, time for them is an element and possibly a dimension in itself, and it’s one they’ve learned to avoid due to incompatibilities. At least this I can explain quickly. As for the other questions, I must tell you a story—my story.

It begins with a bracelet.

In my youth, my grandmother on my mom’s side passed down a bracelet to me. The bracelet looked to be gold plated, with its accordion style wrist band and heart-shaped locket engraved with three flowers on the front.

I knew very little about the bracelet, only that it belonged to my Great Great Aunt Maisie nee Daven, and had been given to her by my Great Great Uncle Vernon Gale as a promise bracelet. Like most heirlooms handed down to me, I was consumed with quiet fascination toward the old photographs inside the locket, the one of Maisie being unusually blurry. However, I was too young to be inclined to learn more about the jewelry and my fascination quickly faded.

Over the years, I stored the bracelet in a jewelry box for safe keeping, occasionally taking it out to admire it, always careful with it. Then, about fifteen years ago, while working away on updating my family genealogy, I remembered the bracelet and gave it a proper examination. With my well-honed research skills, I searched for markings and discovered the words “Sturdy Gold Filled” and beside them a tiny tree engraved on a link of the wrist band.

My research revealed that the bracelet is an Edwardian Sweetheart Expansion Locket Bracelet, made by JF Sturdy’s Sons Co in Attaboro Falls, Massachusettes, what had once been a mecca for jewelry making back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. Although the bracelet is considered costume jewelry due to the plating process used to make it, the bracelet’s sentimental value has assured its passing down through the generations.

According to an online listing, this style of bracelet may have been made circa 1905, and yet neither Maisie nor Vernon had been born at this time. To determine when they might have been engaged, or at the least promised to one another, I examined their pics, beginning with Vernon. The heart shape bracket popped out easy enough, along with Vernon’s photo which revealed a blank backside. Then I looked to the photo of Maisie. When the bracket popped out, along with the photo, the image of my Aunt Maisie grew clearer in focus, at least as clear as can be expected of old photographs.

Whatever had caused the photo to look blurry had gone, and yet the fine metal work of the hinge that allowed the locket to open, what had been clear to see at first, was now obscured and hazy. When I moved the bracelet, the hinge became clear again. The blur, I realized, was separate from the photos and the locket, and it took me a while to see that it remained fixed to the air. I didn’t know what to make of that blur, less an effect and more of a thing that existed separate from everything else. When I waved my hand on the opposite side of it, the lines in my palm turned fuzzy. And even more strange, when my hand came close to this phenomenon, the blur flickered.

This discovery occurred prior to my owning a cell phone, so I didn’t have access to a magnifying app like I do now. Back then, I searched high and low to find a magnifying glass, and remembered the one I kept from the microscope kit I had played with as a child. With lens in hand, the blur came into closer focus and revealed a speck of darkness in its middle.

With the tip of a pen, I pushed at the speck; it moved through the air. If I held the pen near the blur long enough, a spider-thin arc of light erupted from the darkness and clung to the nib, and I could drag the blur around through the air. If I broke that grip and instead pushed on the side of the blur, it changed shaped. Sometimes it elongated and sometimes it rounded. With every prod, the blur grew larger and larger. When it was the size of a quarter, I poked at it and watched my finger elongate, the tip disappearing into the darkness.

For those of you familiar with my books, you may recognize that what had been hiding away in my Great Great Aunt’s locket bracelet all this time was a Safeway, a trans-dimensional security portal used by the Xiinisi, especially the less experienced ones, as an additional pathway back to their realm in case they are unable to return of their own accord.

How Maisie had come to possess one, I haven’t any clue. There’s no indication anyone in the past few generations in my family was aware of the phenomenon. I’m not even sure if it had been passed down through the Daven’s or through the Gale’s, but I continue to do research and will report any future discoveries or revelations.

I documented my first journey though the Safeway to Xii in avid detail in one of my journals, which is as follows:

July 13, 2003

I don’t know where to begin. As far as dreams go, they’re just dreams—lateral, surreal ramblings that can be easily dismissed upon waking. But I had to have been awake. I was sitting on my bed against a mountain of pillows, as I am now, when I slipped into the blur—a literal and truly cosmic rabbit hole—and found myself in a tunnel of sorts. The dresser began to distort. The very perspective of the room tilted and grew distant. Then, bright white light surrounded me.

Thoughts of all the near death accounts I’d ever heard of flashed through my mind, convincing me that I had died. It seemed as good an explanation as any. Fortunately, whatever happened to me was quite real, as I’m still quite alive, although quite gobsmacked by it all.

The tunnel had a slippery nature to it, a tactile slipperiness that made my body feel ungrounded while immense pressure squeezed all around, taking away my breath for a while. Then, I swear every molecule in my body felt like it was being pulled apart, making me all loosey-goosey the way alcohol does.

As soon as I fell in, I was falling out, and I fell onto something hard and cold and polished—a marble-like floor inside a room the likes of which I’ve only glimpsed in old palaces while touring Europe as a teenager.

Rows of pillars spanned the long, rectangular building with its high vaulted ceilings. Even stranger, the alcove I stood in contained a stone fluted plinth, about three feet high. On top of it floated a planet, which reminded me of still images I’d seen of Earth taken from a satellite.

Upon turning around, anxiety and awe riveted me to the ground. Not wanting to move, even though I truly wanted to run, a nervous trembling overcame me at the sight of a black cat the size of a frickin’ bear. It had fangs the length of my arm. I’m not exaggerating. Instead of a ruff of fur about the neck, the cat beast possessed a mane of green vipers that reared up and stared at me.

Whatever the creature was, it reminded me of the strange hybrid beasts often found in myths from Ancient Greece and Egypt and other places around the world. It spoke again, in a suspicious and distinctly feminine tone, but I didn’t understand a word of what she said.

Finally, the black cat glanced at the planet on the plinth and then back at me. “Shade?” she said, and I finally understood, but not what was meant by the word. “How did you come here?” she asked.

“Not a clue,” I replied.

The cat nodded her head, her vipers nodding as well, as though she understood. “You shouldn’t be here. Go back Shade. This is no place for you.” She began to slink away. (I say she due to her tone, but as to her actual physical gender, I couldn’t say.)

After searching for some bravery, I found some in my left back pants pocket and started after the cat. I half walked/half-glided over the floor, as though I had no physical traction in this world. I didn’t think anything of it as I was on the verge of exiting the alcove, when I glimpsed a sea of plinths and daises cradling worlds—some similar to Earth; some very strange and of a nebulous, amorphous nature. There was a sublime beauty to this place, and as I stepped forward to have a closer look, the cat spun around and raised a paw.

I shivered at the glint of black talon tips poking out from black fur. She curled her paw as she swiped at me, claws still retracted. Although her paw passed through me, I felt an unusual sensation, that of the impossibility of my body being there and not being there, of the cat’s paw occupying the same space as where my non-body should have been.

If the cat was trying to frighten me, she succeeded. I slid back into the alcove, uncertain of how to return to my world but desperate to do so. I can’t say how long I stood there ogling my saviour, Planet Earth, when I finally noticed that the planet sat still. Yet, in the darkness around it, other elements floated, and as one of them came nearer and past in front of Earth, I realized whatever it was that permitted me to see Earth in this manner was focused exclusively on the planet and not the other planets in the solar system.

After several minutes of wondering how to get back home, I finally became cognizant of something pulling at me for a few seconds every half a minute or so. I resisted its force every time. I do remember thinking how odd that the other worlds I’d glimpsed revolved or pulsed or displayed some kind of movement, but Earth, my home, stood absolutely still.

After the tenth time I felt that pull, I finally realized this must be the way home, and I stopped resisting it and let it pull me back into that tunnel, and hurl me back to my bedroom, where I poured out on the bed and buried myself beneath all the pillows until my heartbeat returned to normal.

I’ve made many, many journeys to Xii since then, and I’ve learned plenty. I am what they call a Shade, an entity that is displaced by time and space. I am unable to interact physically with their world, but can perceive it, which is different from seeing with the biological eye or a camera eye. (Once, after finally investing in a mobile phone for the first time, I took it to Xii and snapped some pictures, but upon returning to Earth, the jpg files were full of errors and wouldn’t display. What few images did display showed distorted colours and white squares where data was missing.)

At first, some of the higher ranked Xiinisi discouraged me, threatening me to stay in my own time and dimension in case I permanently dislodged myself from my own dimension. Eventually, when they saw how well I took to navigating their realm as a Shade, they allowed me to explore the immediate building, what they call The Vault, in hopes that would satisfy my curiosity enough to never return. However, after thoroughly exploring every dais and plinth and alcove on all one hundred levels, I wanted to see more.

Over time I earned their trust and co-operation, and the Xiinisi have grown accustomed to my exploring and learning all aspects of their culture. Their assistance in translation, along with their willingness to interact with their realm on my behalf, such as opening a book or turning a page, came with great reluctance at first. Now, I think, they find me amusing and not the nuisance they initially believed me to be.

What I have started to account here is everything I’ve learned over the years, travelling back and forth between Earth and Xii. Though I’m free now to go where I will and ask what I want, there is one question I cannot bring myself to ask the Xiinisi, a question that makes the hairs on my arms stand on end and turns my stomach into a cold knot.

If Earth is in its final stage of evolution in the Realm of Xii, virtually on the brink of it’s final moment of decay, then why did the Xiinisi choose to keep our world’s evolution suspended indefinitely?

© Kit Daven & Eager Eye Books. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce with the intent to sell.

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