The following is fiction, fan fiction in fact. The series I’m writing this for is The Heirs of Alexandra by Eric Flint and Mercedes Lackey, with Dave Freer adding in. The vignettes I present in this series are not an official part of the main books and should not be considered as such. I’m also not going to explain things regarding THoA so you’ll have to read the novels yourself. In any case here is your first vignette in the story, Exploration.
Frederico da Genoa, Fred to his friends, considered the image floating in the air before him. It was tiny, let than the width of his big finger, but for all that what it was was immensely larger than what the original was. He didn’t think anybody had a name for how much smaller it was, but he suspected that it could be quantified as a 1 followed by one thousand zeros. The very idea made his hair hurt.
In theory he knew that such an object could be divided into even smaller sizes, but in fact, no. A number of his correspondents insisted that nothing could not be divided into smaller bits, but nothing he could do with such object would produce yet smaller objects. You got right down to it what he had before him was a greatly magnified example of the smallest thing there could ever be.
As he watched the object under study disappeared, only to reappear just to the left of its former position. You couldn’t say it was jumping, for in no wise was it crossing the intervening space between the two points. For that matter you couldn’t say it actually existed, for the object was just empty space in a state of existence that as far as he could tell was of a higher energy than ordinary space. Not for the first time, and certainly not for the last, Fred had to wonder if maybe learning divination was not such a hot idea. Still, he had decided to explore just how greatly he could magnify a thing and to find out.
Now philosophers and clerics were exploring, and bitching about, his work. For oh how so many were convinced that this was not how God’s creation should work. With one noticeable exception, he being the Grand Metropolitan in Rome. The Genovese philosopher turned his attention to the Metropolitan’s message.
My Esteemed Frederico da Genoa,
I thank you for your letter of Julio 15th 1460. I have found the contents interesting, though I must admit rather disturbing. Some among us here have fone so far as to call it blasphemous, though we all seem to keep running across the passage from the Book of Job in which The Lord asks of the mortal, ”Have you pierced Leviathan with a spear?”
You have intrigued us. Your description of the techniques you have invented to magnifiy the image of what you call the smallest object that can exist has intrigued us. The Lord Almighty has been giving us hints that we should invite you to the Holy City so that you can demonstrate to us what it is that you do, and to teach us the art.
I must inform you that there are those who claim that it is your néfarious goal to get Christiandom to convert to Buddhism. Yet it appears that what you have found is that our existence is in fact an illusion and not just supposition which is what the Buddhist think suggests to me, and reality is indeed a product of illusion and real enough for us to treat as reality.
But we wander for our mind is awhirl. We shall cut this message short and offer you this invitation to attend us in Rome. Should you accept send word that you have we shall await your arrival. We pray that your visit here is profitable for us all, and that the Good Lord watch over you in your travels
Father Diocletian on behalf of his Holiness The Grand Metropolitan of Rome
That’s what I have so far, be assured that this will continue.
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