Chapter 1

Author's note:

This story takes place in a Type 3 universe. See the end of this chapter for details on the possible types of multiple universes.


I love to ride my motorcycle. It's one of the few pleasures I have left after a life of military service, mostly in Special Ops. I lost my right leg at the hip and my left leg at the knee as the result of an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) in Iran. The bionic legs they fitted me with work great as long as I do routine things, but hunting and trout fishing are out of the question. However, I can still sit in the saddle of my motorcycle and whiz around the country as if I didn't have a care in the world.

On this trip, I was tooling through the Sierra Nevadas toward Lake Tahoe. I was in no hurry, so I was on some backroads and even trails as I went. Any fool could use the Interstate, but I was a super fool and wanted to make an adventure out of the trip, itself. In this particular case, I was tooling up a long grade with a curve in it just near the summit. The only protection for the outside berm of the road was a low Jersey barrier about a foot high.

I went around the curve at about 60 MPH (100 KPH) when I hit a small sand pile. I was leaning way over, since it was a fairly sharp curve with a 30 MPH speed limit. Well, I hit that sand and slid into the Jersey barrier. The barrier was designed to stop cars and trucks, not idiots on motorcycles, so my bike and I went flying over the barrier and into empty space. The nearest ground was behind me about 40 feet or so, but I was headed for a little river close to 500 feet down. I had time to know that this little escapade was going to finish what that IED had started before I blacked out.


I woke up in what had to be a hospital room, but it was not like any I had ever seen before. Of course, it was painted a pale green, all four walls, the floor, and the ceiling. I was lying in the fanciest hospital bed I had ever seen, and, believe me, I've seen a lot of them in my life. There were no wires connected to me, but there was kind of a hood-like contraption hanging over me, and there was a bank of display screens on two walls which appeared to be displaying things like blood pressure, pulse rate, EKG, and who knows what else. I heard a soft chime as I tried to move.

Only moments later, a man came through the door and flipped the sheet off my legs. I felt him touch my left big toe and heard him say, "Please try to move this toe for me."

Without thinking, I followed instructions, and then it dawned on me—I didn't have a big toe to move! What the shit was going on? I felt the pressure of his fingers against my foot, so I knew something weird had happened. He repeated the request for the other foot and I complied. Suddenly, I was so full of questions that I was about to burst!

The man said, "I am Dr. Ursaw. And yes, you have regrown your legs. Be patient and I will explain. We snatched you from a surely fatal accident and repaired your body to a better than new condition. We induced your body to grow new legs, teeth, and a few other things that were about to fail. You were in good shape for a 48 year old man, but we restored you to the condition of a 26 year old. However, your face looks about 35 years old. Incidentally, you will continue to look like that until the day you die. Furthermore, you body is now self-repairing, so that you are functionally immortal.

"Oh, you can still be killed. Decapitation or smothering are the two most likely possibilities, but a little care on your part should prevent that. For example, I am currently 734 years old, but I had my age frozen at 35 to make me more reassuring to my patients."

"I am especially happy to get my legs back, so don't get me wrong when I ask why you have gone to so much effort in my behalf. You must want something from me in return."

A man walked in just as I had spoken. "You are right about that, and I am here to explain what we have in mind." This gentleman, and I could not describe him any other way, was dressed in an obviously military uniform. He had a air of command about him that was nearly sufficient to make me jump out of bed and stand at attention. The only reason I didn't was that I was naked under the sheet, and I would have embarrassed both of us if I had jumped up undressed like that. He was introduced as General Joval Isrult.

"Well, Capt. John McDonald, I am glad that you are about ready to rejoin us among the land of the living. Yes, we have done an extensive background check on you, and we know all about your prior military service, including the Silver Star and the Medal of Honor.

"We are in great need of your skills in Special Operations. A situation has come up for which none of our people are as well trained as you to cope. We hope that you will agree to help us. I will give you the broad picture and I will send in some specialists to fill in the details.

"As should be obvious, we are not of your world. In fact, this is not your home time line. An infinite number of time lines exist, and more are being created all of the time. Every time there is a decision to be made with a clear cut single pair of alternatives, both alternatives are followed. A new time line is created to accommodate the two choices, so we know that you will join us, either in this one or in the alternate time line which will be created. I know that it is confusing, but take my word for it at the moment.

"We need your help in fighting people from another time line who have moved in on a peaceful, agrarian society and are capturing them for use as sex slaves. Our culture finds that practice especially abhorrent, and we intend to put a stop to their invasion and enslavement. We want you to go in and organize guerrilla bands to fight the invaders. We know that you did that much of your working military life, and we hope that you will take on the same task for us. What do you say?"

"Well, I guess it really doesn't matter what I say, since there is a time line where I do work for you. OK, Sir, I'll join you. When do I start?"

"Excellent! I know that you can't tell it from inside this hospital, but it is quite late in the day, so we will start you off first thing tomorrow morning. You will need some physical therapy to regain complete command of your new legs, so we will work that in while we are getting you outfitted and generally organized. Lt. Hasup Ordell will come by tomorrow to get everything started and to fill you in on the details of what needs to be done. I probably will not see you again for some time, but I want you to know how much we appreciate your help. Thank you, and good night."

Gen. Isrult did a smart about-face and marched away before I could say anything else, so that effectively ended the discussion.


The next morning, a nurse helped me to dress in a uniform which fit very well, though I had no idea what the rank and other insignia denoted. I discovered that I no longer needed to shave, so that alone was worth a hell of a lot to me! I was wondering when breakfast would be served when a beautiful young woman walked into my room. She, too, was in uniform. She stopped in front of me and rendered what I would call a British-style salute. I returned the salute in my USA style, since I did not know what else to do.

"Capt. McDonald, I am Lt. Hasup Ordell. Would you please come with me so that we may eat breakfast."

That invitation, especially coming from a beautiful woman, was bound to get my unequivocal cooperation. The halls were crowded, so I spent most of my time trying not to bump into the other people in the corridors, and had no time for casual conversation. We eventually reached a dining room, and she led me to a table.

"This dining room is the only one in our present facility which caters to people from other time lines, so that is why I brought us here. If you are patient, they can provide us a breakfast that fits all of your dietary customs and needs. Just order whatever you want, and they will get it for you."

"That is fantastic! I normally eat what I call a Southern country home breakfast, so I hope that doesn't put too much of a strain on them." Hasup pointed to a microphone and told me to give my order into that. I nodded and ordered scrambled eggs, grits, ham, toast with butter, and coffee. I was asked to spell "grits," so I did. Hasup ordered her breakfast, and we waited for them to be delivered.

While we waited, she gave me a rundown on rank insignia and that sort of thing. Again, I was surprised that it was almost identical to that used by the British Army. It was an interesting parallel, and I wondered at its significance. I found out that my rank had been established as captain, because that was considered appropriate for my new job. However, there was no reason why I could not be promoted as conditions warranted.

We talked generalities of the culture that I was now living in. I found out that it was a world-wide constitutional monarchy with a parliament. The monarch's position was mostly ceremonial, but it did carry a lot of moral weight when it came to high policy decisions. Currently, the monarch was a king, but there had been reigning queens. There was complete legal equality between the sexes, and cultural equality as well, in most cases. Polygamy and polyandry were common, even both in the same household. Most of the inequality was in the home, where women usually had the final say. I thought to myself, "So what's new?" but I didn't say anything.

Hasup apologized for the rather long delay in delivering my breakfast, but I told her that I completely understood the problems the kitchen would have had. The food was excellent, with the only complaint being that there was not enough salt in the grits to my taste, but that was common, anyway, even at home.

We swapped tastes of each other's food, and I found hers to be completely palatable, so I said that I would have a regular local breakfast tomorrow. I could see the relieved look on Hasup's face at that, but I didn't say anything, though I did wonder why she would react that way.

We talked about the people who called themselves Inglets and were being taken as sex slaves by the Bustols. It seems that the Bustols were a people derived from Arab slave traders, and they had no compunction about enslaving anyone they could overpower. On the other hand, the Inglets were derived from the earliest wave of people from Asia who had populated the Americas. They were not very aggressive, sort of a live and let live bunch who could and would get along with anybody, if given the chance. Unfortunately, the Bustols were not giving them the chance!

The Bustols developed the means to travel between time lines about 50 years ago, and had become a real problem on some time lines. The Arklets, with whom I had become associated, had been able to travel between the time lines for nearly 350 years, but had not tried to conquer anybody. Rather, they had a vigorous trade going over several time lines, but had been forced to defend themselves from the Bustols ever since they had originally encountered each other. The Arklets had no interest in becoming the policemen for the time lines, but they had been forced into it; thus their interest in the Inglets.

Supporting the Inglets would be helpful in the war. It would tie up Bustol forces defending their operation with the Inglets, and it would distract their planning if the Inglets could form an effective defense. It looked like the Bustols had a lot invested in Inglat slaves and had been selling them into several other time lines. Cutting into the slave trade would sure get somebody's attention!

The basic plan was for me to go in and to get the Inglets to fight against the Bustols with arms and other supplies provided by the Arklets. The word was that the Bustols had made themselves seem invincible to the Inglets, so I could make a real splash if I could break up a slave-catching episode.

I asked Hasup how much help I was going to receive in the form of Arklet troops. The answer was not all that encouraging. The Arklets were strung out as it was, so the only direct help I was going to receive from the Arklets was my personal assistant. When I asked when I was going to meet him, I was told that I already had—Lt. Hasup Ordell was to be my assistant in the field.

To put it bluntly, I was shocked. Hasup assured me that she was quite capable of holding up her end of the partnership. She had received the equivalent in Arklet Special Ops training to what I had, the thing she lacked was field experience. OK, but I wasn't going to take her word for it. I asked her if there was a gym or the equivalent where we could work out.

We finished out the morning with all of the paper work all armies require when signing up a new recruit. At least, they had a full medical history on me, so I didn't have to go through that. After a light lunch of local Arklet food, we adjourned to the hospital where I was told that I didn't need any therapy; I was already doing better than would be expected from somebody with weeks of work. That was enough for me, so we went to the gym where I could test Hasup's effectiveness in empty-hand combat.

I guess that I had a lot more to learn than I had realized, since we went into the same locker room to change into workout clothes. Hasup wore a sports bra that did a good job of containing her spectacular tits; they were spectacular, not for their size, but for their beauty. Back home, she would have been a C-cup, but they were perfectly shaped C-cups with no sag or droop. Don't tell anybody, but my tongue was hanging out when I saw them. She wore a kind of protective cup over her pussy; it was held in place by her panties.

I was issued a protective groin cup to wear under my shorts, and we both were issued sweat pants and shirts of a nondescript design to wear over them. I don't know how the word got around so soon, but we had an SRO (Standing Room Only) audience for our workout. I gathered from the bits of conversation I heard as I walked out on the floor that Hasup had a reputation for being able to take care of herself, so I was feeling better about this partnership already. We shook hands, at least that was a common practice on the two time lines. We then circled each other cautiously, looking for an opening.

Suddenly, without any warning, Hasup attacked. I don't know why, but I suppose it was from the lack of respect for women as empty-handed fighters, but, whatever it was, she caught me by surprise and grabbed my wrist and upper arm and threw me seven or eight feet through the air. To do it, she had dropped on her back and used her feet as a fulcrum to lever me over her head. She rolled to a standing position before I could get myself up. Wow! Hasup was quick. Well, I would quit daydreaming and pay attention to the job at hand.

We begin circling each other again. I caught her in a moment of inattention and threw her over my hip. She didn't fly nearly as far as I did through the air, but she landed harder on her back than I did, so she was momentarily stunned. I waited for her to regain her feet, and our little contest resumed. We traded throws for the next half-hour, and I was pleased to see that she threw me as much as I did her. The one advantage I had was that I was able to break out of several of her holds, but she never could break away from me.

After the half-hour of work, I called a halt and said that there were other things that we needed to do. Hasup agreed, and we retired to the showers. Again, I was surprised to find that the showers were as coed as was the rest of the locker room. Dammit, I got an erection while we were both in the shower. Hasup noticed, of course, but she smiled and nodded her thanks for the compliment. The thing that broke through my resolve and pushed me to the erection was the sight of Hasup's completely bare pussy. I didn't know if she shaved or was born that way, but I found out later that she's had a laser treatment to kill all of those hair follicles.

After the shower, we adjourned to an office with two desks which Hasup said was ours while we were on this base. We started making a list of the initial supplies I wanted to take on our first visit to the Inglets. When we came to weapons, I asked what type of weapons the Arklets would normally use for this type of operation. She described a bolt-action rifle closely resembling a Mauser '98, and I firmly vetoed that. I told her I wanted us to have the AA-12 combat shotgun from my time line. I wanted the full range of ammunition: buckshot, slugs, and FRAG-12 shells. I had to explain what was included in the FRAG-12 assortment, and she was truly impressed. I asked for her to get a couple, along with all types of ammunition and arrange for a place on a range for us to try them out. I asked her to try to set this up for tomorrow, because I needed to know how well the AA-12 would work out. She got on the telephone for a few minutes and reported back to me that we would have our weapons and a reserved range for 9:00 AM tomorrow morning. Man, I like the way she operated!

We worked up until dinner time, and I asked if she had any commitment for the evening. She looked at me kind of funny, and then said no, she was free, so I asked her what people did for after hours entertainment. She mentioned a little bar that she liked, it had a band and a dance floor, so I asked if she would like to spend a couple of hours there with me this evening. She immediately accepted the invitation.

Hasup had told me that my quarters were already assigned, and she would guide me there whenever I was ready to turn in for the night. We spent a couple of hours at the bar, and then she guided me to my quarters. I went in and was amazed. It was a two-room apartment with a small kitchen and a full bathroom. The bedroom had a king-size bed—a real surprise when I had been expecting little more than a simple cot.

I was most surprised of all when we walked into the bedroom, and Hasup started taking off her clothes. That was when I found out that we were now married!


Author's note:

Current physics theory postulates four possible forms of alternate universes. This is my interpretation of the theories:

Type 1

An infinite number of sub-universes exist inside one giant multiverse (multiple universe). The only reason we have not seen the others is because they are so far away that the light has not had time to reach us, yet. All of the universes duplicate each other, and what happens in one universe happens in all of the universes of the multiverse.

Type 2

An infinite number of sub-universes exist within a giant multiverse, called the block, and these sub-universes are like soap bubbles floating at random through the air. There is no similarity among the sub-universes. All possible combinations of things exist in one sub-universe or another. Humans exist in one of the sub-universes, but might not exist in any of the others, or some sub-universes might contain humans and others might not. A new universe is created every time two of the sub-universe "soap bubbles" touch each other, but the old sub-universes are not destroyed in the process. Thus, the number of sub-universes continues to grow, but the block holding the sub-universes is infinite in size, so it will never be filled.

Type 3

An infinite number of sub-universes exist within a giant multiverse, called the block, and these sub-universes are like parallel planes. They never interact in the physical sense. A new universe is created every time there is a choice offered. The old sub-universe continues to exist with one phase of the choice and a new sub-universe is created to accommodate the other possibility. As an example, suppose someone drops a coin onto a flat surface from a sufficient distance so that the coin lands on edge. In one sub-universe, the coin comes to rest on edge and never falls over. Two other sub-universes are created, one in which the coin falls heads up, and another in which the coin falls tails up. This is going on all of the time, so every time you decide whether or not to eat that next cookie, a new sub-universe is created. The possibilities here are mind boggling.

Type 4

The type 4 universe is harder to describe. There is an infinite number of sub-universes in the block, all existing at the same time and occupying almost the same space. They are separated by one or more of the seven dimensions that we cannot detect. The Type 4 multiverse has 11 dimensions: the X, Y, and Z, plus time directions that we perceive, and seven more which describe the way the sub-universes can exist all at the same time. There is a series of experiments going on trying to detect one of these other dimensions, concentrating on a particle called the graviton, the smallest unit of gravity.

The above is not fiction! It is the simplest explanation for the mathematical equations which describe space and time. One day, humans may know which of the four is the correct form of the solution. Of course, there may be a fifth form which nobody has thought of, yet.

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Science Fiction / Humor / Violent / Military /