THE CHESHIRE CAT

THE CHESHIRE CAT CHAPTER ONE

 RD HANSON

   It could have been a very nice suite with a kitchen in a high rise hotel downtown. Maybe something went wrong she thought. Nothing ordinary about waking up somewhere you have never been before.  Remembering what she had done it became apparent to her that things had gone wrong and they had taken her to a hotel to wait till things were right. From the moment of birth things hadn’t gone right. Birth defects and bad health  had stifled her social life. By doing without that she realized what was really important about being alive and being a human being and how much suffering and disappointment could be tolerated. She had skirted that limit and stayed inside it for the sake of others.

  A knock at the door prompted her to get off the bed and walk to the door. She walked past the dressing room and the familiar image of a homely, unwed,childless woman strolled though the mirror. No miracle there.

   Behind the door was a nice looking man in slacks and penny loafers and a blue button-down shirt with a sleeveless sweater. He was smiling. She returned the smile. Something so small but so precious, how many times had a handsome man smiled at her like that.

   “My name is Ben and you must be Evette.”

    “Yes, nice to meet you Ben. What has gone wrong with the upload to the World computer?”

   “ Why nothing has gone wrong. Everything is as it should be. Is something unsatisfactory?”

   “I expected things would be different. I expected I would be different.”

   “This is how it has been decided the process should begin.” They walked into the living area and sat on the very comfortable chairs. “You will be slowly indoctrinated to your new existence inside a computer in a different format on a foreign substrate. I’ll explain as we go.”

   “I am really in the computer now?”

   “Yes, everything is as it should be, you are about to be like Dorothy entering the Emerald city. There are levels of adjustment. At the beginning things will seem very much like home then quickly you will see some amazing changes. The first thing I will tell you is that there is no money and since you can have anything you want material goods are no longer a sign of superiority.    For a person who had never had anything more than she needed to get along it would take some getting used to.

   “Ben, that is wonderful. What else can you tell me at this level?”

  “Evette, this is probably not important but you must retain the form of human in this level but you can choose the look of your form and are welcome to maintain your current appearance.”

   She tried to keep her excitement under control but her face gave it away and Ben got a huge grin on his face.

   “I love this job Evette and this is one of my favorite moments in the process. Is there a human form you have in mind that seems appealing? Keep in mind you don’t have to keep it but I suggest until you start to develop a circle of friends and they recognize you maybe it would be best to stay in that form for awhile.”

   “I saw a girl once in a magazine I thought was perfect and always wished I could be her. How can this happen?”

   “Look in the mirror.”

   The mirror was behind her and she turned to see the image that had been in her mind moments ago in the same dress she had imagined that girl wearing. Evette could not take her eyes off herself for minutes. She preened and whirled. Her malformed leg was perfect. She bent down to touch it and it was smooth and without the stubble she usually had. She pirouetted and danced with her arms outstretched. Her nails were perfect and the face without makeup was as beautiful as the woman she had dreamed of being who had needed makeup and digital enhancement to grace the magazine where Evette had seen her. Her breasts and hips perfectly proportioned bounced and shook. Blonde hair in perfect curls hung on both sides and front and back. She was as graceful as she was beautiful. Even in the high pumps she felt light and comfortable. “I’m fantastic.” She squealed.

  “A nice choice, Evette. Let’s take it for a spin around the block.”

   Ben walked toward the wall and a door appeared and opened. He put his hand on her waist and pulled her through.

  “The people you will see are mostly like you, first levelers some with guides like me and many without. One rule you should know is that anyone who is in human form is human. They can be any type of human but no other constructs are allowed human form. If you want to know if they are real say “get real” and if they feel like it they will change to human to prove they are. Remember though they don’t have to.“

   Her first sight was a jeweled city. Not a city adorned with jewels but a city cut from various precious stones of titanic size. In front of her was what looked like a shopping mall made of cut diamond. The sun reflected brilliant colors from it. She could see that inside were thousands of stores. There were thousands of men and women who were all beautiful shrieking and cooing over owning the things they always wanted. Fast cars, furs, jewelry, helicopters, jet packs, shoes of all shapes and colors, trinkets, furniture, cookware, fine china cut from ivory and rubies, solid gold flatware, motor homes, jet planes, sculptures, paintings and the list went on.

  “Let’s go shopping Evette! If you don’t see what you want just ask and a store with what you want will open right around the corner.”

  “How long do I have to shop?”

   “As long as you like. Sleeping is optional. You may want to though so you can dream.”

   “Where do I put everything?”

   “It will stay in the cloud and all the things you cherish are safe there and can be retrieved instantly whenever and wherever you like.”

  She grabbed Ben by the collar and pulled him down for a kiss then ran towards a boutique full of silk dresses and fur coats and shoes of all kinds. For someone who had never really had anything it took a long time to shop. She tried on all sorts of things and had other beautiful girls like herself to shop and compare with.  By the time she was ready to go to her room and eat a fortnight had passed. Ben had stayed patiently by her side.

   “Evette that was a shopping binge for the record books. Now that you are equipped would you like to visit a restaurant?”

   In the French restaurant the waitress was a bunny in a party dress and pumps. The maitre de was a yellow triangle with legs and hands. The food was the most fantastic she had ever had.

   “What is eating like here, Ben?”

   “The best food ever and the best part is you will never gain weight or get full. You can eat as long as you like.”

  She ate for days and tried everything that the French had ever cooked and every desert and pastry she had never seen or heard of. Some of the things she ate several times. After many many days of eating and shopping with Ben she walked over to him in her jaguar skin dress  with matching shoes and a pearl necklace  and said “Ben, shopping is getting boring and the marathon eating too. I think I am getting jaded to gorging.

   “That didn’t take long. Are you sure Evette?”

   “Yes, Ben, I am sure. “

   “Evette, you are ready to move on to the next level.”

   Evette noticed the occupants of level two had slowed down and were taking a closer look at their fellow travelers. The mad dash of a kid in a candy store had settled. The lives of deprivation and poverty and doing without was over. The fear of a return to being without was gone. Consumerism was gone. Anyone could have anything. Ben’s promise of all the merchandise they had picked being “in the cloud was not exactly true. The shopping trip had been a kind of sham.  Everything was “in the cloud” there was no thing that could not be called up. Now the circus of owner designed outerwear was on display. Anything they could imagine they thought looked good on them they were wearing. Evette was constantly smiling. All the perfect, beautiful people strolling and flying and driving in their new devices, many in ridiculous outfits were also smiling.

   All sorts of animals walking on hind legs with shoes and clothes and jewelry were interspersed with the strangely dressed crew. The jeweled town was gone and this one seemed to be a seventeenth century French village.  Horse drawn carriages share the streets with beautifully painted autos from all eras of the internal combustion age.

   Evettes tasteful party dress wasn’t exactly what most people would call walking attire especially with the stiletto heels. But it was low key in comparison to many. Crossing the street her heel caught between the cobblestones and a handsome man who looked like the model for the paper towel package saved her from falling.

   “Are you ok? Evette smiled up at this very tall man and nodded, speechless that such a fine looking man would come to her aid. My name is Ed and I haven’t spoken to anyone at any length since I have been here. My guide has told me I am ready to go out on my own for awhile. How is this new life working for you?

   “Hi, I’m Evette and I’ve never been better.”

   “Can we go inside the tavern for some champagne. I have never been so close to such a beautiful woman in my life.”

   This progressed to its natural conclusion and both partners shared their first intimate moments together. At a point it became a matter between them that they should share their biological appearances and it became clear why the relationship had moved so easily. Ed would have been Evettes counterpart back in the old life. He was unhealthy and not in any way attractive. Shortly after that they began to see each other less until they only saw each other while out with different partners.  She made up her mind that something would have to be different before she would show anyone how she was before or want to see how someone was before. She made up for a lifetime of frustration over a few months. It seemed everyone looked so perfect but the personalities did not fit the bodies. So true back in the real world too she thought.  It would take some shopping and evaluation in ways besides the visual to find a regular companion. She thought “I am in transition it is not time to make a commitment.”

  Calling on Ben she told him,” I have grown tired of superficial relationships based on appearances. Beauty and looks seemed so important when I didn’t have them. I am going to tone down my beauty queen looks and apparel and find someone who has come to be aware of this too. What do you think?”

 
“You got through that quickly. Many of the people with you in  the shopping level are still there. I think you are ready for the next level.”

   “What will the next level be, Ben?”

   “in that level you can change to anything you like and have all the powers you wished for when you believed in magic.”

   “It sounds exciting. When do I start?”

   “Look around, Evette.”

   When she looked it was a scene from her imagination. It was Santa’s workshop. All the elves and reindeers were there and through the window she could see snow. Suddenly she was an elf then she was a reindeer and then she was Santa and after that she was driving the sleigh and delivering toys.

   This level would be interesting she thought to herself and she changed into a five foot wide flying mobius strip and traveled the Hobbits shire. In fact, she traveled all the literature she had ever read or wanted to read. She starred in all the movies and cartoons she had loved all through her life. There were no restrictions as to gender or size or species. It took what seemed to be a long, long, long time to be and experience what it felt like to be a butterfly or a whale or an otter or a cucumber or a redwood or a man. Many seasons when by and it seemed she could not stay in one form very long without flitting to another. Each was more wonderful than the last. Or so it seemed. Each was exciting and had physical experiences no human ever had but the human form and the human capacities for socialization seemed unsurpassed. After those many years she could see that the magic was in being Evette as she had been in real life. The beautiful body was passé because everyone was beautiful. The fun of being a plant or animal was in its novelty and not in its long term happiness. In fact the form did not seem as important and the beautiful body was not a solution to being happy. When she resumed her earthly form real men in their own original form found her and spent long days and years with her finding her inner beauty and loving her for it.

  One day when Ben seemed like a distant memory there he was looking just the same in the same clothes and the same hair style. “Evette, certainly you remember me but do you know why I am here?”

   “Yes, I presume you are here to show me something new about myself. As a material person I never would have believed that if given the choice I would be in my old body dressed as always and living a simple life and eating simple natural foods.

   “It will be difficult for me to explain and I don’t want to make it sound any more complicated or worrisome than need be. I’ll give you the standard spiel we have been taught to give. You know more or less that the mind is comprised of parts. It may almost seem that there is more than one person in your head. I am talking about the id or the subconscious. It is aware of you but you are only vaguely aware of it. Even so it plays a part in your life so important that here I must say it is the most of you. It colors your vision and hearing and touch and thoughts. Now that you have been digitized the partition can be dispensed with. You will be exposed directly to the subconscious as you are able to withstand it. To begin with I suggest you return to the habit of sleeping and dreaming and meditating. This will smooth the transition”
   “Transition?”

   “Yes, knowing the truth about yourself and those you have been close to will be a life altering revelation. It is time for you to meet yourself and get to know it. ”

   What a strange notion, she thought.

   “When will it begin.”

   “It began when you arrived but now it will accelerate.”

   She returned to her “nest” (as she called her home) and began to explore her memories as never before.

    Crying, screaming, fear of others fear of self, all the things that had been hidden to protect the consciousness slowly came to light.

   When it became too much she sought the company of others on this level. When it seemed she had uncovered proof of severe mental illness it turned out it was more normal than not.

   This integration required aid from the central computer. Emotional responses were toned down until they could be accepted in full.

When it was over she knew why she was, how she was and what the people really were that surrounded her as she moved through time and how they had affected her. The pity, the disgust, the lust and the love, yes the love through it all the love kept showing up. Love of family, love of self, love of nature, love of god, and love of a special one all there and managed to a manageable level by the subconscious and now unlocked and combined into a single brain.

   All the denial and turning a blind eye to the painful bits that would have torn her apart  now in her mature mind could be reframed and accepted.

   “ I am an animal but I have something the rest of the animals don’t have. I have accomplished something now that without the uploading and the help of the central computer no one could have ever accomplished. I am whole. “

   “Ben, how long has it been since I was uploaded? I feel I have been here a lifetime already.  I mean earth time like before I came here.”

   “Evette, you will be surprised to know you have been uploaded less than three minutes.”`

   “How could that be?”

   “Everything happens faster in a computer. It could also be slowed down. Time is a relative term. Evette, how has your three minutes been? How do you feel about eternity here?”

   “I feel jaded but happy. The sore spots in my subconscious are gone. I am whole and can love myself for who I am. I wonder what I will do with this much time now that I know what can be done in three minutes. Ben, what is the normal evolution of this uploading.

   “Ben smiled, “You have guessed there is something more.”

   “Evette smilled, “I am ready Ben. I trust you and the central computer. You have made me happy so far.”

    “Wear that smile, it is your most endearing quality. You are one with your universe. Your existence is in reality just standing waves generated in a quantum computer. You are ready to be free and to birth your own children.”

   “What do you mean my universe?”

   Ben waved his arm symbolically like a magician and Evettes wave forms were transmitted into space in the direction of the great attractor. She knew nothing until long after her waves of electromagnetic energy passed all matter condensed from the big bang and through the brane marking the edge of her home universe. On the way through the brane her consciousness brought a big bang to a new universe and all the elementary particles were branded with tiny bits of that consciousness. The next thing she knew was awakening to the networking of all her parts through means of billions of super intelligent super computers and the uploading of her children.

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