An Interview with Miro Rugen
Miro Rugen is a twenty-seven bio-year Janaforma consort, a descendant of the twenty-two original Janaforma created by the geneticist Simon Forma in the Hattonian year 2603. Doctor Miro received cis (his/her) undergraduate degree at Aeternus University in Space Ethics and Engineering. Cis (his/her) doctorate is from the Cerribeame Academy on Calypso where ce (he/she) focused on Advanced Vitasphere Technology and Gravity Field Manipulation. Miro now serves as CEO of Trans-Orion Technologies.
The Janaforma have a reputation for being elusive and Miro Rugen is no exception. For the last three years, every freelance journalist in the Hattonian Hub had been vying to snag an interview with Dr. Miro. When a troller contacted me with a lead, the message was typically cryptic. “Solid lead, Miro, 2 shs,” it read, which meant the troller was giving me two space hours to decide, before offering the lead to the next hungry journalist. I was on the planet Teras, in the Trujillo System, where I was covering a boring story for Off-World News on the annual Ice Sculpture Festival. This was my first assignment in three months and I needed work. If I ditched the festival, Off-World News would cut me from their list of freelancers. For an hour, I paced around my hotel room trying to decide between paying my rent and paying the troller. Then I did what I knew I was going to do all along. I called the troller. She said, “One thousand Delta Urbanaian chedars. I’ll wait.”
I made the credit transfer and attached the message, “This BBG. I’ll be eating ramen noodles for the next two months.”
Two minutes later, my skimpy lead arrived. “Bougon Ture, Trinity Hotel.”
It was pitch black when my shuttle landed on Bourgon Ture. Later when Stella Campus rose above the horizon, the burnt umber landscape would warm to a toffee brown. At midday, blinding light would glare off the few, slick nobs still left on the surface, while the stark shadows would conceal the depth of the impact craters below. On Bougon Ture, craters were deep, some going down thousands of meters into rock. At the crater bottoms is where most of the sentient action was happening. My shuttle made a sharp arc to the left before landing on one of the higher crater shelves. Below, the milky lights of Bougonree Complex were barely visible through the inner polluted layers of the forcefield.
Bougonree Complex was virgin territory for me, but it made little difference. The more I commuted around the Orion Spur, the more these corporate-created complexes numbed my senses. Most were aggregate structures held together with spit and string. Bougonree Complex was without a spark of whimsy. It was a world where commerce and speed-to-market convenience, took easy precedent over esthetics. A few potted plants stood here and there, condemned martyrs from another world.
Moving walkways skirted both sides of the main promenade and funneled arrivals toward the exits. I spied a bank of elevators that took passengers to the various connecting hotels. While I waited for my elevator to arrive, I used my spot speaker to call the desk clerk at the Trinity Hotel. “I have an appointment with Miro Rugen in twenty minutes and I’m running late,” I said. “Would you please call cis (his/her) room and tell cim (him/her) Sophia Ferguson will be a little late and—oh, just connect me and I’ll tell cim myself.” My ruse worked and a few seconds later, I was speaking to Miro Rugen, explaining I was a journalist, and working on a story concerning dimensional breaches.
To myl surprise, Miro said, “Would love to discuss dimensional breaches with you. Give me an hour and I’ll give you two. But please don’t be late, because I’m pressed for time.” An hour later, I stood outside room 2211, took a deep breath, and congratulated myself on my journalistic prowess at landing the interview.
Miro Rugen opened the door and I was standing before a tall, lean Janaforma consort in cis mid-twenties. “Come in,” ce offered with a simple nod. “If you’re hungry, room service just brought sandwiches and tea.” While I helped myself to a sandwich wedge and set up my microdex, Miro Rugen demonstrated the ability to rearrange our chairs like a man and pour tea like a woman. The fascinating seesaw between the masculine and feminine was seamless, yet noticeable. This sexual balancing act in a consort is what the Janaforma refer to as “enewetak,” which means to the Janaforma, “appealingly balanced between beautiful/handsome.” Whatever Miro was beyond enewetak, it was clear that ce was a genetic thoroughbred.
“Before we get started, I want to know how you knew I would be on Bourgon Ture at this exact time?” ce asked.
“I’ve wanted an interview with you for the last three years. A troller called me a few hours ago with a lead. I paid her one thousand Delta Urbanaian chedars and she sent me the information that you were on Bougon Ture at the Trinity Hotel.”
“I see; in the future I’ll need to be more careful.”
“I’m not here to cause you trouble nor do I harbor political agendas. I paid a thousand chedars and would even pay it again.”
“I have questions I believe only you can answer. Three years ago, I began working on a series of articles concerning dimensional breaches. Since then, I’ve had some fascinating conversations with several knowledgeable people on the subject. Curiously, your name continually keeps surfacing. One person in particular told me, ‘Talk to Miro Rugen. Ce knows more about dimensional breaches than anyone alive.’”
“Who is this particular person?”
“Does the name Spekgodski ring a bell?”
Irony tinged Miro’s smile. “Yes, but the bell is more like a dull thud than a ringing tone. He calls himself Stealth Spekgodski. He used to be part of an elite regiment of 2,000 Damarian mercenaries. Told me he once worked for the Orion Spur Alliance as a spy. He still had his Doberman ear implant, but said it didn’t work anymore and made terrible buzzing sounds in his head. Maybe that’s why he was so jumpy.”
“Did he show you the holographic video in his possession?”
“He did; in fact, we walked through the video together. He claimed the video was shot in the environs of Roswell, New Mexico, a few hours after a spaceship crash-landed there in the Earth year 1947.” A bemused expression slowly came to dominate Miro’s face. “Spekgodski said he wanted verification from an expert on the type of ship it might be and about markings on the superstructure found among the debris. He was so secretive, I thought the video contained classified information on some new spacecraft technology, but the video was nothing special. The ship was a generic Cerribeame rifter and the crash site was without distinction.”
“What about the markings on the superstructure?”
“The markings were Cuneate rilets. The words merely bits of instructions for task-specific androids that assemble those types of ships.”
“Do you think Spekgodski was on the level?”
“Let’s put it this way. While the video appeared to be an authentic crash site, Spekgodski offered me no hard evidence that the video came from Earth in 1947.” Miro hesitated before asking, “What’s your involvement is in this matter, other than a good story?”
“That’s obvious. The fact that you paid a troller a thousand chedars suggests your involvement is very personal.”
It was clear Miro expected me to reveal some of my backstory, so I gave him the short, short, version. “When I was fifteen bio-years old, my mother and I were aboard the starship Omael. We were on our way to Earth to celebrate my grandfather’s birthday when the ship hit a dimensional rupture and was torn to smithereens.”
“I heard there were no survivors aboard the Omael.”
“You heard wrong; there were two. My mother and I were standing in a hallway when the Omael exploded. A Janaforma lifebearer was standing nearby and when she activated her vitarattha, she caught me inside the vitarattha’s forcefield and saved my life.”
“I’m sorry you lost your mother. Was the lifebearer a Vanguard Scout?”
“No, but it was obvious she had extensive space training. She was a student at Oxford University and returning to school from spring break. We were stranded inside her vitarattha for several hours before we were rescued. During that time, we saw fourth-dimensional creatures pouring through a rupture in space. She had enough sense to hide us. The Tyrowsian biodroid that finally rescued us, called the creatures. ‘Veda kec Drone.’ Are you familiar with the term? In Cuneate, it means, ‘flesh eater.’ Mescale translates the expression merely as ‘predator’ while Universal translates Veda kec Drone as ‘carnivore.’ Which of these three definitions, do you think, comes closest to the truth?”
“The cascade of interpretations flowing out of Veda kec drone reveal more about our endemic fears than the actual creatures you observed coming through the rupture. Tell me, Miss Gifford, is it intentional that you’ve not mentioned the name of the Janaforma lifebearer or the Tyrowsian biodroid who rescued you?”
“It’s necessary. All three of us wear the stigma of fourth dimensional contaminants.”
“It’s not a stigma; it’s a badge of honor. I, myself, am a fourth dimensional contaminant and proud of it.”
“That’s because you’re rich and famous. You tell people you’re a contaminant and everyone laughs. Maybe you haven’t noticed yet, but that’s not how it works for us common folk. We have to hide. I had to change my name and undergo eye-pattern surgery just to elude security scanners.”
Miro Rugen leaned forward and patted my knee just as my grandfather used to do. “You’re a survivor. You took a bad situation and turned it to your advantage. I have a small confession to make. After you called me, I did a background check on you. You see, I’ve been burned in the past; trusted people that turned around and stung me.” Miro shrugged. “When I scanned your records, I couldn’t help noticing that you have degrees in political science and journalism. It obvious, at least to me, that you wanted to become a journalist because you believe in the power of truth.”
Miro seemed to have the ability to take the disparate events of my confusing life and reframe them in such a way that I actually made sense. On the verge of embracing this new inflated definition of me as a purveyor of truth, Miro popped my pretty balloon. “Despite your idealism, some of the statements you’ve made in your published articles are inaccurate.”
“What? I research and document everything I write.”
“Don’t try to defend yourself because you’ll twist yourself into a ridiculous knot. Your problem is, too much research on the multidex, which leads to you repeating theories from the stagnant reservoir of the status quo. In an article you published just six months ago that you entitled, “Trade Routes & The Fabric of Space,” you wrote, ‘Humanity and Tyrowsians flew sorties along the Daleth/Tzaddic border for thirteen years. Both sides had profitable military/industrial complexes. Humanity manufactured biodroid thugs and Tyrowsians had “training schools” where they taught Cerribeame clones the art of ruthlessness. Millions died over the fight for space routes, yet the stalemate dragged on for thirteen years because no one had any incentive to stop the insanity.’”
“What’s wrong with that statement? It’s true! Fact checked and cross-referenced.”
“Sorry, but you don’t even know the real reason for the conflict. The war was never over space routes. The battle was for the minds and souls of third-dimensional beings. The question was—would the Orion Spur Alliance sanction Regression, the drug of memory and community or somatime, the drug of forgetfulness and disconnection. The destruction of space routes was merely a way for both sides to destroy opposing markets. In another article entitled, “The First Rupture,” you wrote, ‘An unprecedented incident occurred when five Cerribeame rifters approached a thin membrane in third-dimensional space with their energy hooks fully extended. The membrane tore and the Cerribeame went through, making them the first to breach the timeline into the fourth dimension. Soon afterward, they used their newly discovered time-jumping advantage to initiate surprise raids on victims in this dimension.’”
“How can you quote, verbatim, large swaths of my published articles? Are you one of those Janaforma with a photographic memory?”
“My mind is not a camera, if that’s what you’re asking, but I do have an excellent memory. Anyway, my point is time jumping was not discovered by the Cerribeame. For the last sixty thousand years, Shardasko Warriors and Trinity Witches, from the Island Worlds of Gathos, have used the permeable membranes between dimensions to jump time. While it’s true that the Cerribeame used their newfound ability to initiate surprise raids on victims in this dimension, your suggestion that the Cerribeame penetrated the fourth dimension is blatantly false. Dimensional borders consist of energy threads that appear as wave-like strands. These strands trail outward on both sides of the border. We generally credit rifters for being the first ships to breach hyperspace, but hyperspace is nothing more than being within the flow of these time threads. It would be more accurate if you reported that Tyrowsian scientists discovered that accellarons are the lifeforce in the quanta of the time threads and they created a ship capable of exploiting those accellarons.”
“I’m not a scientist, so some of the technical details I quote, I don’t completely understand.”
“The truth hides in the details, Miss Ferguson.” Miro made a sweeping gesture with one hand. “I’m sorry; I don’t mean to be so starkly critical of your work. I do believe you have the potential to be a good reporter, but what you need is direct contact with those who know the truth. In fact, I’ve decided to help you. I have, what I consider, an excellent idea and hope you agree. You need access to knowledgeable people on these matters and I need help disseminating truth. You interested in tackling such an assignment?”
“I have no technical training. What could I do at Trans-Miro Technologies?”
“You would not be working for Trans-Miro Technologies, but another Janaforma organization. Don’t worry though, I carry some weight within this organization and with me as your mentor, you’re as good as in.”
“What’s the name of this Janaforma organization?”
“The Clearinghouse Project.”
I was already prepared to say yes, but managed to ask, “Would I get paid?”
“Of course you will be paid. I will need to make a few calls and get a contract out to you. Read the contract carefully, sign it, and we’ll take it from there. Meantime, let’s put our minds together and see if we can unravel the mystery surrounding Spekgodski and his holographic video. I have a few ideas I’d like to run past you too. To start with, have you ever heard of a creature called a graeymlin?”
“Can’t say I have.”
“Life exists everywhere. Some life is so small we cannot see it, while other life is so large, it doesn’t see us. Even as we sit here, life moves through this underground hotel room, flitting in and out of existence while we remain unaware. The time threads between dimensions are alive with life too. In fact, it is native graeymlin territory—graeymlins fall into the so-large category—think whales, times ten. These massive creatures know how to negotiate dimensional time threads and they function as guardians between dimensions. They are highly regarded in other dimensions because they are the only creatures capable of entering places we call ‘chaos’ and rescuing trapped souls. Without graeymlins, no soul fragment retrieval would be possible.”
“Who is your source for all this information?”
“I am the source; and you may quote me on that.”
“It would take me hours to explain how and right now I don’t have hours. Besides, you came here to probe my thinking concerning dimensional ruptures and ask my opinion on a video Stealth Spekgodski claims comes from Earth in 1947. Since your technical knowledge is spotty, allow me to give you some additional background on rifters and their involvement in this mystery. The energy hooks on rifters not only damage time threads, but the hooks are equipped with powerful parabolic reflectors that cause excruciating pain to graeymlins. When a graeymlin becomes agitated, believe me, mountains move. While Tyrowsians were using Cerribeame clones to fight for minds and souls in this dimension, they also were using Cerribeame clones to slaughter graeymlins. Tyrowsians consistently maintained that graeymlins were fourth dimensional illusions. The Cerribeame clones did not matter either, because Tyrowsians bred them by the millions, gestating them in communal nativity vats. It was such a strange war. The graeymlins were brought to near extinction along this portion of the timeline and ten million Cerribeame clones died, yet it was a war without one official casualty on either side.
“This is big news—”
“It wasn’t even big news when it mattered. Now it’s too late. When I scanned your published articles, I saw that you quoted Spekgodski in one and my curiosity was aroused. I decided to call a dear friend and get her opinion on the situation. Her name is Ananel XX. She is one of the Cerribeame clones created in the Big Sky cloning facility on Earth.
“You actually know a Cerribeame clone and are friends with her?”
“She is more than a friend. I consider Ananel part of my family. Ananel told me that about sixty years ago, five Cerribeame rifters punctured the timeline and encountered three infant graeymlins, which they promptly murdered. A nearby graeymlin female went into a rage and began swatting her tail. Two rifters were destroyed, one was expelled back into this universe, and two held together and began ricocheting back and forth along the timeline. Following the path of least resistance, they emerged in the environs of Roswell, New Mexico on July 3, 1947. Why was Roswell, New Mexico the path of least resistance? Two years earlier, on July 6, 1945, Earthlings detonated a nuclear device near Alamogordo, New Mexico that damaged the time threads in that area. A month later, on August 6 and August 9, 1945, Earthlings detonated two more nuclear devices in Japan where greater damage to the time threads occurred. Ananel believes that when the two righters approached the time-thread damage in 1945, the ships slowed enough that they were able to get a bead on their physical location. From my own experience, I know this is exactly how it works. It’s easy to tell where you’re at by the stars, but exactly when you’re at, takes deliberate calculations.
“So you’re saying the two rifters saw they were near Earth, but didn’t know they were in the past?”
“Exactly. Spekgodski’s video contains some convincing evidence that the ship that crashed was attempting to regain control. The ship didn’t go down in one spot and it didn’t explode; it skipped over an area of almost a hundred kilometers leaving bits of its stealth hide behind.”
“What happened to the second rifter?”
“It held together and began searching for the cloning facility in Big Sky that they believed existed. They never found the facility because Tyrowsians had not yet built it. Fast forward from the Earth year 1947 three thousand years, and Ananel tells me that when the Big Sky land first came on the market, Tyrowsians were ambivalent about building a cloning facility there. Then they found the rifter. It was partially covered with dirt, but still intact. Nobody knew how it got there, until they broke into it and listened to the oral logs. The surviving Cerribeame clones spent months in total confusion looking for a way to return to the future, flying back and forth between Big Sky and New Mexico attempting to find a permeable breach they might exploit. They never found one. When the Tyrowsians discovered the ship, they considered it a sign that they should build a facility there. As we all know now, big Sky played a major role in defeating Tyrowsians. It’s an example of how the future can impact the past and how the karmic backwash from both times collides and causes unprecedented outcomes. Ananel believes the video was made by the crew of the rifter that held together. They were the only ones that possessed the technology to create such a video because it was not available on Earth in 1947. How many hands the video passed through, before it got to Spekgodski is anyone’s guess.” Miro glanced at the watch attached to cis thumbnail.
“That’s a great story, but I’m not sure anyone is going to believe it.”
“Write it; put it out there and we’ll see.” Miro glanced at cis watch again. “Our two hours is nearly up and I did warn you that I’m on a tight schedule.”
“Of course, but I have so many more questions.”
“You will need to save them until the next time we meet. I haven’t yet told you about the variety of fourth-dimensional being who are coming through the dimensional ruptures.” Miro stood up and told me, “I’ll be in touch in a few cycles with the contract. Don’t try to contact me because it might be dangerous—for you, that is. I know how to reach you and I will. One last thing, take some of these sandwiches. They will only go to waste because I have to be out of here in the next half hour.” Miro escorted me to the door and a moment later, I was standing in the hallway with a bag of sandwiches wedges in one hand. If it wasn’t for the sandwiches, I might have thought I just awoke from a dream.”
copyright © 2013 Martha Fawcett