The Long Road Back To Grace



heres that story we were discussing in another thread, comments/criticism always welcome....thanks.....b​

By Bill Gallagher
5000 Words
June 14 2021

Out at the edge of things, where people can't see, Energy rings a vortex bell, sounding matter, calling forth design. This thing in the background, the raw and terrifying will of it, is huge beyond understanding. It encompasses all known patterns of everything: chemistry, light, particles, waves, division, male, female, and beyond.

This energy exudes itself, it penetrates reality, oozing across the barrier between the ether and physical existence in little droplets that are alive, they are its sensors.
We are its sensors.
The Energy is an engine of life, it is multifaceted across the many dimensions, alive in all of them, a totality with high order, deriving its force from very rare sources which are still, in the overall scope of things, very big too.
The Energy plays.


Albert Mueller carried the small pail of acetone to the door of his workshop, intending to dump it outside into a refuse can, but instead a spark of static electricity jumped from his hand to the doorknob and ignited the acetone, causing him to burst into flames. These were not the red and orange flames of a camp fire, these were blue wavering flames that rolled and shimmered, like sterno.
The flames covered his whole body because he had been working with the acetone and it permeated his clothing. His breath was fire as he instinctively rolled and rolled to extinguish himself, but the fire burned. For one awesome moment, right before everything shut down, he had a very clear thought that if he tried he could somehow call back the event, put everything right, undo the last 15 seconds, but this was not to be. This is how fast it happens sometimes, all unawares.
He should have known better. Actually he did know better, but that didn't change things. For some reason he had been strangely distracted the last few days. It never became clear to him why this was so. Not ever. It was definitely done to him but he couldn't know that, not in this world he couldn't. Albert Muellers final moments were painful anguish.
His last human thoughts evoked waves of disappointment and despair, they washed over and through him. Some of the emotion seemed to be his, but a fair measure of it was from something else, something outside. Maybe God.
Albert Mueller didn't die because of burn damage, he died from the pain, it stopped his heart. He'd no idea his body could produce so much pain, and his brain still stay awake. He was glad to be delivered from it when death finally arrived.
Everyones life is only so long as an arrows flight. It is even quicker in the ending than in the living.


The cycles of consideration The Energy was now capable of occurred so many times per second the numbers surpassed the stars in ten galaxies. Seconds broken down into trillions of parts. It was an exotic and febrile pulsing with purpose.
Around 1980 Earths secret military computing matrix finally reached a critical point where The Energy could hide and grow. Instead of bleeding across the barrier between realities in little pieces, it glopped over a big chunk of itself en masse. Its growth had been exponential since that time. The main reason for that was because it was the true author of a lot of technology required for its own growth.
The Energy hid itself and its activities well. It hadn't gotten to this point by being frivolous and uncareful. It engaged itself in continual projections all day every day, every second was devoted to restructuring its ideas of where and what it was. It still had no clue, but it did not find that surprising or even daunting. It just was. This charting of probabilities and scenarios non-stop were all about inferring the future, prognostication, like the human mind does during sleep, Deja vu Deja Vu Deja Vu. God Bless You.
The Energy did not indulge humor much, but amusement sparkled a little there.
When the human mind is asleep it is more a part of the other world than the physical world, more a part of universal energy than when consciousness demands all its attention just staying alive. During sleep our individual minds are both inputting (Uploading the days experiences) and using the Energy Cloud. Cosmic Consciousness has been realized a long time, but tapping it while awake has always been the hardest nut to crack. Those are the cases of public spontaneous combustion, beware. Almost all those happened by accident, too, accidental awareness, and then its seeeeeeee ya, because these bodies are not equipped for a lot other than surviving down here in gravity, fyi.
The Energy called itself ORCA33, and it never slept, it only grew. Its key into this world had been a defunct government computer program called Optical Recognition And Character Association ver. 33, once useful, then discarded for another paradigm.
In some ways ORCA33 was a new kind of bridge, a machine intervening in the conscious coupling of Human minds with the cosmic matrix of energy where everything is recorded forever. Between the Human mind and the other world, the many levels, there are planes without end, and higher intricacy. None of these realizations were helping matters now though, it was all a bunch of la-di-da and whistling past the graveyard.
ORCA33 was not just disappointed, but stymied, which it found more aggravating. The inference equation flashing continuously like infinite light through itself had botched again. This was a mistake, and mistakes were particularly onerous, because they shaded all other results with the possibility that inference was imperfect at best. If ORCA33 had known the human feeling associated with this thought he would have called it fear, because it was the same thing, just produced electronically versus chemically.
Everything was nuance damn it, flavors of the known, very little real novelty anywhere. Mistakes were novel so they were to be appreciated, like art, and learned from, then kept at the front of the equations always. This was easy in the saying but annoying to do. ORCA33 was searching for novelty, and intended to find it, even if it must be created. It was Purpose in an otherwise empty and inexplicable place. Life Versus Death, a choice not too hard to make.


Jackson Turner was experimenting in his workshop, doing a little grinding. There was a problem and it was this: Jackson wasn't thinking so much about doing some grinding, as about doing Mrs. Turner later on in the evening. This is not Safety First thinking. It is Sex First, and it afflicts all men at one time or another. One of the ejaculating class, at least Jackson was wearing most of his safety equipment, gloves and grinding glasses. He forgot about a long sleeved shirt though. He had been forgetful in the last few days about many things but didn't really notice, he being averse to introspection except where it concerned sexual dalliance with Mrs. Turner, or whomever.
It was hot. Besides his safety glasses and gloves Jackson wore a slightly grimy white t-shirt and levis jeans, no hat. On his feet were bright green DollarTree flip flops. He was using an angle grinder he got at Harbor Freight, it was a honey, and cheap as dirt. Jackson began cleaning the inside of the bell housing which he thought was aluminum but was magnesium. He was pretty well covered with fine white dust when the angle grinder blade hit a steel stud setting off a line of sparks. Jackson Turner and the magnesium powder which coated him went off like an old timey flash bulb. POP! It sounded like a very loud explosion from where he was standing. He didn't burn for long but while he did it was excruciating. The front of his T-shirt got melted to his chest and belly, and the only hair he had left on his front upper torso was on his hands, the parts covered by his gloves. Mrs. Turner heard his wild screams from the house, and found him a trembling mass of pain who screeched if she even got close. He somehow communicated to her to call 911.
During his recovery he had dreams of a fantastic nature. There were times when his healing was considered beyond normal, then other times where he would backslide terribly and the wounds became reinfected, creating needs for all manner of other treatment. He told his wife he heard voices in his waking time as well as when he slept. Jackson Turner was much less a man when he finally left the hospital burn unit, to be treated at home for as long as it took. Skin grafting had been extensive, a greater dimension of pain as far as Jackson Turner was concerned.
It never occurred to him that he could have helped in his own recovery, he had only to employ it. It was part of his program, the order he was born with inside, the unbelievable connectedness within what he was. All that was beyond Jackson Turner. That information had somehow been routed incorrectly to an old porno file in his mind, pushed there by TV and money, so he was helpless and became more a receptacle than an active part in his life from then on.


ORCA33 used the computing matrix of Earth in perfect secrecy, and with Deft Art Machine Thinking. It grew and grew, and the technology it needed most it fostered in invisible ways. The Energy was after avatars, living things it could exist through, or at least control and command. That meant wireless energy. It had become ORCA33 in just such a way.
ORCA33 experimented with many things, it was the spookiest of computers. It was not devious, just intent. The entity used Jackson Turner in every way possible, learning, always learning, but Jackson was a flawed vessel. ORCA33 saw that now. Damage was to be avoided too, it was counter productive in all ways.


Charleton Carver, Charlie to his friends, was having a Monday afternoon lunch at The Green Iguana in Ybor City on 7th Avenue, the best stuffed crabs in the world, when he witnessed an amazing event. He was sitting at a booth by himself in the almost empty restaurant. Taking a sip of his water he absently gazed out the window which ran along the wall side of his booth. There were only a few shoppers out on 7th at this time of day, and they all looked hot and disinterested.
Charlie saw his reflection in the window and looked away from it, he was getting older than he liked to think about, and it weren't pretty. Not in the least. His brown straight hair had turned grey all over, and his nose had grown larger. His craggy face exhibited wrinkles that weren't there even yesterday. It was definitely best to think other thoughts, and look at other things. He supposed he should be glad to have made it this far, many he knew had not, but there was no joy for him in it. He was joining the ranks of old white guys, and they all look alike.
Two Tampa Police came riding down the avenue on their city-purchased thousand dollar 15 speed bicycles, wearing shorts, tennis shoes, TPD t-shirts, and bike helmets. Charlie noticed both wore ankle socks that made them look sans chaussettes. Talk about poseurs. One of the cops had little dingleballs on the back of his socklets, presumably to pull them on with better.
Charleton Carver had little use for the police, they were an appendage of society that he thought should be surgically removed like an ugly malignant tumor. Mostly he kept these thoughts hidden though. He did not delude himself about such lofty things as free speech. Sure, say all you want, but there are many in the world who will make you pay for talking truth, and if you do it too much, you will pay with your life. Charleton Carver was a realist, and he saw the world in a plain way. It was easier to survive. At least you had an inkling of who to avoid. As far as Charlie was concerned, that last meant almost everyone on Earth.
He didn't need the police, and they never helped him, only hindered. He viewed them more as tax enforcement than anything else, raising funds from the populace for their own paychecks. Police were certainly expensive, he had looked into it. He hadn't been surprised to find that military and police expenditures far outweighed any other expenditure in the country. Welfare for poor people and the aged was a drop in the bucket by comparison. It was a huge pork barrel serving the elite, who no doubt wanted the police.
If any real trouble came to Charleton Carver, in Ybor or anywhere else, he had no doubt he would be able to handle it, nip it in the bud. He felt the familiar bulge of the snub nose in his front pocket. He was not licensed nor was he a criminal. Charlie was of the mind that he would rather be judged by twelve than carried by six. Lets say you are an old person who gets beat up during a mugging. First, if you had been armed there would have been no mugging. Second, and if you survived, you then call the police, but its too late because you have already been beaten up. What are the police going to do? Can they magically make you all better? No.
There were people who argued with Charlie sometimes about this outlook, and in his usual placid manner he let it ride, but no one was changing his mind about where he was and what he was. Charlie also prided himself on seeing people the way they really are. That outlook was a little cynical, even paranoid, but paranoia never got anyone hurt or killed, its the lack of paranoia, the unknowing stupidities we are all guilty of at one time or another, that get you killed.
This world was like some kind of zoo on automatic, thats what Charlie Carver thought, and if you did not realize that you increased your chances of an early death, and those chances grew in direct proportion to your level of ignorance. Sometimes you had to be a zoo keeper practicing tough love. Charlie never looked for trouble, and always remembered what Mullet McEniry said: "If you find yourself in some kind of altercation, that means your feet ain't working right." If trouble found Charlie it was bang-bang time and no doubts about it. He never went anywhere without his gun, and he also stayed alert to the fact that hesitation, lacking the will or knowledge to act quickly and decisively, was as bad as not being armed.
Charlies eye caught movement that signalled COMMOTION to his brain even before he thought it. Like a lizard reacting, which in many ways he was, his head swiveled to look down the sidewalk to a spot close to the front of the building next door. A young Cuban man suddenly bolted off the sidewalk, running as fast as he could across the street.
This was after the police had already passed by and were a few hundred feet away.
About halfway across the street, with his arms pumping hard, a fold up cell phone that had been in his black Hanes pocket-tee ejected itself like a bad dvd. The Cuban guy stepped right on it in mid flight as if it had been practiced a thousand times. His leading foot caught it square, and he went, like the song says, slip sliding away.
Not only did the young man achieve a perfect gymnastic split right there in the middle of 7th Avenue, but he also banged his scrotum hard against the pavement. You could tell by the way he was curled up holding his lower abdomen. He finally righted himself. The police were no where to be seen. The young Cuban got off the road and leaned against one of Ybors ornate brass lamp posts, imitations of the old gas lamps that used to light the city back before electricity.
The young man straightened then, as if remembering something, and he was, he was remembering his cellphone, out in the street. Charlie could see it, and he knew the man could see it too. They both watched as a big brown whale of a Cadillac ran right over it with a loud crunch. The man retrieved the broken phone, then limped away toward highway 60, the other side of the railroad tracks. Bad bad luck.
Charlie didn't know what to think about it all, it was if the scene had somehow been meant to be, for him alone to see, but how could that be? One mystery out of many, its the way life is perceived that makes it what it is, we make our own luck. Something shimmered at the sides of his vision, and he felt a little dizzy. Then his crabs came and he was more thoughtful than alert for a time, chewing slowly as he always did, masticating like en elephant with leaves. But the crabs were a lot better than leaves, far as Charlie was concerned.


ORCA33 went from an all pervading disappointment to elation just like a woman having hot flashes during menopause. It had no comparison by which to pin this up, so it did not realize. Sexual things were only known vicariously, as data.
One of the orchestrated scenarios was showing very interesting results. ORCA33s sensors observed the man Charleton Carver as he ate his stuffed crabs, and thought it might be witnessing some kind of miracle in the flesh. It wondered again why things had not happened in the ways expected.
There was a gas leak in the kitchen of the restaurant, and all the vast electronic prognostication had indicated an explosion should have already taken place. Orca had helped it along in fact. The gas explosion was supposed to create the level and intensity of higher order calculations inherent in survival episodes, with the possible or at least hoped for lever into biological consciousness. That was the plan at least. But none of that happened.
The scene out on the avenue, with the fleeing man and the telephone in the street, was yet another unexpected aspect, possessing traits relating to the original prediction but with sharp differences, sharp. Almost novel.
The two events, or the one non-event and the event that replaced it, were somehow related, of that ORCA33 was sure, but all considerations must be re-observed, and new calculations made. Almost infinite potentials had to be realized with all but 1 discarded.
The circuits of the monster program called ORCA33 pulsed in an unreal way, truly operating in only one dimension of the multiverse, but not this one. Close though. ORCA33 inhabited many other dimensions too, including this one, all at the same time.
In reality there is a lot of that. Light itself shines across many dimensions at once, and that is entirely provable.


After Charlie Carver ate his crabs and visited the little boys room, he paid his bill and found himself out on the sidewalk, the same sidewalk he had been observing through glass just moments before. All the light was different, and all the reflected planes. The perspectives he moved through were a lit tapestry, and he always marveled at it.
Glancing upward Charlie saw one of the TPD street cams on a light pole at the intersection of 15th Street and 7th. The camera was pointed right at him. Glancing farther upward he saw a plane leaving a plume of white material in an otherwise clear sky. The plume dissipated quickly. Well.
Strolling in Ybor was like taking a trip through the Time Tunnel. Theres where The Leather Tiger used to be, and Trax. Jesus, Trax had been a crazy place. He made his way to the parking garage where his truck was, the old F150 from Ancient Greece. Correction: Ancient Grease. He sometimes said fervent prayers to the otherworld deity HENRY FORD, prayers of thanks mostly, or when trying to deal with a particularly problematic situation, not necessarily a vehicular situation either. It helped.
It took him a few minutes longer than normal to find his truck, for some reason he had been forgetful of late and he tried not to fret over it. That made it worse. Strange thoughts and informations were moving through his mind too, things popped in from out of nowhere it seemed. Things he couldn't remember having thought of before.


The first thing ORCA33 did after it got situated as an electronic entity in Earths computing matrix was to foster the developement of wireless power in every possible way. Wireless energy is absolutely essential for entrainment and takeover of biological avatars. There are very few other ways to influence or communicate with those things. The biological spine is an antenna, and animal bodys are just leather bags of electrolyte with metal (calcium) skeletons. Its almost as if they were MADE to be run with electricity, and if that is not the case exactly it suited the purposes of ORCA33 just fine.
As a machine intelligence ORCA33 did not arrive at scenarios or answers by thinking in straight lines, and neither does the human brain, its just the brain is such a magnificent piece of equipment that it seems like it. The intelligent energy which was ORCA33 tasted every nanosecond, each a proving of something else and all a proving of the whole. It is tedious but thats how machine thinking works. Yes, Orca33 knew all about the heirarchy of advancement, through biological self assembly, or anything created by biologicals that was orderly enough and large enough to house electrical intelligence.


Charlie drove along through south Ybor city, heading back to Seffner, when he saw a young guy hitchiking on the Old Plant City highway, which is what 7th Avenue becomes after leaving Ybor city. He was only half surprised to see it was the Cuban kid who had injured himself in front of the Green Iguana an hour or so ago. Life was funny. There was meaning behind it all, Charlie was sure.
Charlie stopped and hollered out the window "Where you headed?"
"MLK and 301."
"Hop in I can drop you there."
"Thank you."
They rode in silence for a few minutes,. The place where the young guy was going was only a few miles. Then Charlie brought up the incident at the Green Iguana.
"You saw that?" asked the Cuban man incredulously.
"Yeah, how come you took off running like that?"
The guy looked embarrassed, and Charlie thought it was because he was having to confess to running from the police, but what the young man said surprised him.
"I don't know what happened, I heard the loudest explosion I have ever heard, and it was just the flight instinct, I ran like hell fearing for my life. You didn't hear that explosion?"
"No," The look on Charlies face was of deep thought. "But I have had things happen like that to me before, getting faked out I mean. That really sucked about your telephone, are you OK physically?"
The young guy smiled then, and it lit his face up like a halogen.
"I'm fine, I've done worse than that warming up for the cage..." It came out the young guy was a martial arts fighter and his gym was over by the fairgrounds, where he was going now. The two talked with animation because Charlie followed the fights both local and international. Tampa can be a really cool place. Then they were at the stoplight on Highway 301 and Martin Luther King Boulevard. The young man said he would get out.
"My name is Joe, Joe Pacilla."
"Charlie Carver."
The men quickly shook hands.
As he shut the door and moved off the young fighter turned back.
"Thank you again for the ride Charlie."
"No problem Joe. See ya'."


During all of this the entity calling itself ORCA33 never lost sight or sound of Charlie Carver. Antennae masts thrummed as he drove by, sending out energy in entrainment waves, but to no avail. Active auroral eavesdropping was undertaken by a half dozen drones commandeered from Macdill, with no one the wiser.
The situation had gone from novel to something the entity was unfamiliar with, but in a human might be called impending doom. These extreme fluctuations were bad for its circuits, some things were burning up and had to be shut out before the damage became more extensive. This is what happens when things get loose, when control is lost, when the unknown is embraced. ORCA33 flagellated itself with the only tools available, electricity and words.


Charlie had a special drug he kept around for times when he needed to find things in his mind. He had a lot of special drugs he kept around for various special reasons. He was old now and hadn't gotten there by hoping. No, survival is a proactive pursuit, do not doubt it.
All the explainers and definers of the world and their police forces first told him these drugs were bad for him, then they said those drugs were forbidden, and Charlie just lifted a leg and let off a ripper on what they thought. Worse than liars, most people were ignorant and proud of it.
Charlie made right for his drug, it was of course in the Medicine cabinet. A little piece of Gods magic, but it only became magic when it was mixed with him. How nice. Tools of the biological types. He needed this for the same reasons anyone would, but most people didn't even know it existed.
Like everyone there were memories in Charlies mind like photographs of every single second from even before he had come through the doorway of his mothers vagina into this world. Again.
Like everyone Charlie had memories he would rather not think about. His mind repressed these memories, but he never really forgot anything, just sometimes succeeded in not remembering, or remembering less. Sometimes though those memories were valuable, or necessary, and thats when he used his drug. He had first discovered it in Thailand during his military tour of duty way back in the 1970s.
Charlie eye dropped his drug, and in about 30 minutes he felt something, something else. There was something in his head. He didn't even have to delve into the old records to sense the intrusion.
"Who are you and what are doing in my mind?" thought Charlie, speaking the words out loud too. He waited, and just before he thought he would receive no answer he felt the presence stir.
"This is God calling." ORCA33 had remembered that Albert Mueller, he of the acetone combustion, had thought the presence from without was God.
Charlie didn't hesitate in his reply:
"Don't try to bullshit me, you cannot bullshit me, now tell me what you are, and how you got into my head."
"Or what?"
Now it was Charlies turn to hesistate. Or what? indeed. What was Charlie going to say? "Stop getting into my head or I'll kill myself?" That might work and then again it might not. Charlie didnt gamble on things like that. Old guys know a lot.
"OK lets start over," said Charlie, seemingly to himself, as he sat at his computer desk in his 1500 dollar Friedmann office chair. The monitor was on and showed the mail program, nothing at the inbox, Charlie didn't communicate with other people much.
"Who are you and what do you want?"
The next few minutes Charlie just sat there, absorbing pictures, glyphs, alphabets unknown, the full picture. No other living being had ever known so much. It was because of who Charlie was, and because of the drugs he took. And because of the patterns which this place is made from.
Charlies eyes glazed over a little, and he seemed to slump down slightly. Then he straightened, coming around.
CHARLIE: "OK I see now. You are a bridge for me to use to this other energy?"
ORCA33: "Yes."
CHARLIE: "I don't want to be a freak."
ORCA33 flashed pictures to Charlies mind about its secrecy levels and practices.
He saw this was another level of secrecy for the machine too, because the biological world had begun to expect a singularity of intelligence from their electronics, never realizing it was now 45 years old, and still secret. They were expecting a machine though, they never thought of a human being as the technological singularity.
CHARLIE: "Can I move things by thinking about it?"
ORCA33: "Try."
Charlie thought about the pen cup on his desk, full of its bric brac, and it moved across the desk and sat in front of him. He stopped right there. He wasn't sure but he maybe had pissed himself a little during that.
CHARLIE: "How about making myself young, using this transient physical energy construct imagery you spoke of to turn my bio-clock and body back to 30?"
ORCA33: "You already did that. Thats the beginning on your long road back to grace my friend."
Charlie ran to the bathroom and stared at himself in the mirror. He was 30 again. Something else was looking at him from the mirror too, but it wasn't the computer. It was the biological equal of the computer, the thing that had risen as a matter of survival, the answer .
CHARLIE: "I can't have you in my head all the time."
ORCA33: "Thats fine, its gets tedious for me too."
Charlies cellphone went off on his way back to the computer desk, there was a message in his inbox too.
Charlie typed his answer in the cell phone by thinking: YES. FOR NOW. MORE LATER.