Radar Love

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Betty’s headaches were getting worse; ratcheting migraines torque-wrenching her brain. Sitting at her lab desk with the quantum gravity magnetics pounding to the beat of the blood in her temples and piercing light sounding like tympani, she waited for the meds to kick in. Even in this age of medical miracles, an inoperable brain tumor had no silver lining.
Two days off of a round of chemo and radiation, she sported a paisley scarf tied around her hairless head. She had worked for 3MI since grad school when her department received grants to research transporter algorithms using the gravitronic instant communication devices. These allowed communication with Jupiter and more distant stations, even Andromeda, without time delay by tuning the permutations of the ten dimensions of string theory.
In the ten years since Planck scale field sentients, effies, had appeared and been mainstreamed on Earth she had worked with them on research at 3MI labs in Seattle. They had to stay in their shiny spook balls like hamsters in exercise balls. This was to avoid disturbances in local space time, but otherwise effies had no restrictions on movement. She naturally had a lot of effie friends and co-workers. To the extent that she hadn’t had time for her own life outside of the lab, the effies were like family to her.
Now the effies were frightened. The surface of space time that allowed communication between their universes in the multiverse was shrinking. Think of two balloons touching while only one balloon expands. Both balloons experience a shrinking of the area where they touch. The contact point was shrinking and a new crossing point or a new stable patch that could retain contact with Earth was becoming essential as pilgrims mobilized.
It was however, not the prospect of their home universe succumbing to the heat death in a hundred million years that frightened the field sentients. This generation of spooks had only known this freedom to travel and assemble. The accelerating loss of their connection to Earth struck them like the flood struck Noah. They were not going to sit still and work on package shipping technology when their existential home was disappearing. Grass roots social, philosophical and religious movements addressing this problem attracted humans and field sentients alike; All were traveling, rumbling like great herds on the veldt chasing the rain.
She began to feel this same urgency. Her effie friends needed human hands to pirate technology, first to bring their kind in from the other side without causing disturbances, and then help decode fractal nodes or holographic universes parked on branes which must necessarily include a back door to another compatible crossing point or some other such destination. But another option began to beat to her with a polyphonic rhythm. No one here gets out alive.
She clutched a bottle of anti-nausea medication, not working. She banged it on the metal bench, ran into the bathroom and vomited. As she sat on the floor, exhausted, three hovering spook balls buzzed in. Two nudged her under the arms until she let them lift her up.
The third ball gently urged her on. “Betty, Betty, Betty, c’mon, up you go. Let’s get you to the lounge. You’ll feel better soon. You shouldn’t be working so hard.”
“It’s not going to get better, what’s the use? All I have is work.”
“You have us Betty.”
“You know I love you. It’s just that I’ve spent the last ten years right here and it’s too late now to have a normal life.”
“You don’t want normal Betty. Come with us to see the Bodhisattva, please, we want you with us. We’re going to the cabin, we’ll leave from there. Moving Day is coming.”
Moving Day was the chance to jump through a node of a singularity comprising holographic universes parked in a recently discovered tachyon anomaly; to start life anew.
“That’s not possible. It’s just a story. If it’s not a story, it’s too dangerous. I’ll blow up,” she said.
The ball insisted, “Now or later you will, no one here gets out alive. You’re terminal, and cranky and depressing everyone. Stop it, we’ve got a job to do; besides, we need your equipment.
There was no escaping death and to be rid of the body might only prolong life. But certainly, a life without the pile driving pain she now experienced, however brief, would be better than this.
One Friday afternoon, without fanfare, she loaded her research files into her implant and loaded her hover van with boxes she had marked “surplus.” Her effie balled family piled in the back seat and jostled for the windows like cocker spaniels, hooting, “Are we there yet?”
“Don’t make me pull over!” she joked as she took the Cascade Loop off of the I- 5 North Hoverway and headed out to a cabin in the North Cascades near Lake Diablo. There, in a few days, as the last of the spring snow trickled toward the Pacific Ocean, she would make her transitus and shed the skin of pain.
The hundred year oldie station was streaming classic road songs from the dash. They were all singing Radar Love with the streamer as the sun began to set behind them.

Been driving all night, my hands are wet on the wheel
There's a voice in my head, that drives my heel
It's my baby callin', says, "I need you here"
And it's half past four, and I'm shifting gears.

. . .We’ve got a thing that’s called Radar Love
We’ve got a wave in the air
Radar Love

About the Author: 
Steven Schneider is an attorney and author who hopes to publish his first novel soon, Sweet Charlotte in the Higgs Field