Section one: Jason at KSUEdit
Chapter 1 Jason Meets MatthiasEdit
If there was anything Jason Scott-Harris hated more than advanced technology, it was Kansas winter. In drifting snow he parked the air car as close as possible to the tower entrance on the roof of Waters Hall. Jason glared at the swirling blizzard hatefully, then gathered resolve and told the dome to open. He raced the January storm across the roof to the door, defending his hand-knit possum-angora scarf against the wind’s attempts to tear it from his grasp.
The ancient steel door slammed heavily behind him. Grateful for the warmth Jason rushed down the hallway removing his long wool coat as he walked,. He breathed carefully trying not to fog his glasses. Blood gradually returning to his extremities drew awareness to the cold stiffness of his muscles. He cursed the winter. I have to get warmed up soon to be ready to climb. He glanced down, trying to shake away some melting snow which had gathered between his bare toes and the leather of his sandals
“Professor Scott-Harris!” A tall, ragged young man appeared from nowhere around the corner and ran right into him. Jason recoiled, heart racing, prepared for combat if necessary. Well, at least this will help warm me up for climbing.
Seconds later Jason realized he had just rudely collided with a student standing innocently in the hallway outside his office door. It’s still his fault, Jason consoled himself. This is my tower. No one should be here uninvited.
Hot tears on his frozen skin were a bitter reminder of the cold winter weather and the need to be warm soon. His glasses fogged, blurring his vision further. He wanted to wipe the tears away, rub his hands on his face to get warm, but his hands were full of bulky winter clothes, which he shifted awkwardly onto his left arm so he could get the chain with his office key from around his neck, hoping to disappear into his office and slam the door behind him. Hoping to quickly forget this intruding stranger had ever existed.
Time stretched out long as Jason struggled with frozen fingers to insert the key, warm in his shaking hands. The student stood too close beside him, reaching out insistently. Damned fanatics. They keep harassing me, but never hear me. They don’t consider me human. Maybe I’m not. They should just leave me alone.
The warmth of the young man’s hand burned on Jason’s shoulder as the key finally condescended to enter the slot and the door swung mercifully open providing an avenue of escape.
“I’m sorry I startled you, Professor Scott-Harris. And I’m sorry I came to your tower without your permission. Dr. Persington told me to come up here and he let me in. I’m sorry, Sir. I wouldn’t have done it if he hadn’t insisted, but he is head of the department, y’know? And he’s hard to say no to. I knew you wouldn’t like it but I didn’t feel I could presume to take your orders against his when we haven’t even spoken yet. I need to get my cameras set up right away. sir, and Persington said you won’t come down until class starts. He insisted I should wait for you here.” The boy towered over him, talking too fast, smiling nervously, standing far too close, still reaching out.
Silently cursing Persington’s ill-conceived good intentions, Jason said nothing. He walked in and hung his coat and scarf behind the door. The young man followed too close for comfort, too fast for Jason to shut the door against him. Conflict was inevitable. Jason turned away from his coat, moving to where he could place the desk between himself and the intruder. The intruder smiled slightly, and didn’t pursue. Finally it dawned on Jason with a flood of both dread and relief. “You’re Matthias Daniels. My new teaching assistant.”
Matthias relaxed visibly. His eyes sparkled behind a dark veil of spiral-curled hair. “Yeah. Sorry. I should have introduced myself.” Matthias stepped forward grinning and held out his hand again.
Jason shook hands mechanically. “Your hands are very warm.”
He cursed himself for saying this as Matthias stopped smiling and blushed bright red behind his freckles. “Uh, yeah I guess so.”
Jason blushed also and withdrew his hand hastily.
“It’s just ‘cause you’re cold from being outside, Professor Scott-Harris." Said Matthias "You need to get warmed up before you climb. Just gimme the Amphitheater layout and the lesson plan so I can get my cameras set up and check all your climbing props.”
Jason imagined that Matthias wanted to say much more, to ask lots of intrusive, confusing questions, but he stuck to the task at hand. Maybe having an assistant wouldn’t be so bad after all.
Jason handed the requested materials to Matthias. Then Matthias was mercifully gone without the need for exchanging another word.
Jason collapsed into his desk chair, took off his glasses, laid his head down on his arms and cried.
Chapter 2 Matthias Sets up for the lectureEdit
Persington was waiting at the base of the tower staircase. “How was he?”
Mathias grinned and held up Professor Scott-Harris’s lesson plan. “Amazing! And ridiculous! I knew he was young, but wow, he’s no bigger than a ten year old, and he was wearing shorts and sandals in the snow. I can’t wait to see him climb walls.”
“Good.” Persington paused, stroked his long white beard with a serene, enigmatic little smile, and peered out at Matthias from under shaggy grey eyebrows. Matthias felt he had fallen through a portal into a fantasy role playing game. Rogue that I am, I have entered the lair of the Goblin prince, obtained the keys to his kingdom with my trickery. Safely returned, I must now report to my master, the ancient sorcerer, and hope he doesn’t turn me into a toad just because he needs some toad spit for a potion. Matthias suppressed a giggle and waited respectfully for the old man to finish.
“Apparently he was able to tolerate your presence, ”
“Yeah. Friendlier than anticipated Dr. Persington. Handed over his plans without any objection. He didn’t seem to mind. I believe we’ll get along just fine.” Matthias’s hopes soared, realizing as he said it that he now truly did believe they would be fine. Jason was just a scared little kid. Matthias had plenty of experience with little kids. He was the oldest of 10, and Mom wasn’t around much. He worked at a daycare center. The idea of working for an eccentric genius who had traveled to other worlds and could dream in ways other people didn’t dream of had intimidated Matthias at first, but Matthias knew he could handle this scared little boy. [delete this or use it elsewhere]
“Well then.” Pershington nodded in slow motion. “that would be merciful, wouldn’t it? I do hope so. Still--appearances can be deceiving, especially at first when you don’t understand what you’re dealing with. Don’t forget what your job is, young man. You work for me-- and don’t even mention dreaming until I give my approval.”
Imagining the old sorcerer transforming into a giant snake Matthias excused himself to set up his cameras. The historical significance of his present assignment awed him. No one had ever recorded a video of Jason Scott-Harris. There weren’t any photos or holograms of him on the internet, not even on the university website, though every other professor was shown. Maybe the university didn’t want the world to know that their star lecturer looked like a terrified ten year old.
Matthias placed a 20th century video camera on the ceiling so he could take some close-up shots of Professor Scott-Harris climbing across the ceiling. For that location He chose the one with the wireless connections because it was so far from the stage. The benefits of studying in a department which also houses part of the Alien Studies program: Paragangian technology. Through its power I can do Magic. I can fly. The anti-grav platform he rode on to set up the cameras was controlled by a small flat metalic oval which adheired to the side of his neck, and connected through his skin directly to his nervous system as he stood on the disk. he had only to think of where he wanted to go, and the disk floated smoothly there, according to his thoughts. Magic. But Jason will fly this same sky with only his own muscles, his own hands --and toes-- with nothing but what the Great Mother gave him. Who’s the greater wizard? He is. Because his magic is his own. Mine’s stolen --an illusion lent by aliens. His is real, the Great Spirit of Retrotechnology speaking to him, to us through him. He is the Exalted Prophet of Retrotechnology, and I …
I am his assistant. His apprentice. I speak for the prophet, Like Aaron speaking for Moses.
Matthias checked and repositioned the several ropes which had been hung from the ceiling to simulate vines, and the other beams and protrusions added to the walls and ceiling of the lecture hall to simulate tree branches. He set up the archaic computer which would control and monitor his five late twentieth and early twenty-first century video cameras. Recording Scott-Harris’s Introduction to Retrotechnology lectures using a variety of obsolete recording methods had been Matthias’s idea, but Pershington loved it, because those recordings could be used in other courses both to demonstrate the technologies, and also make Scott-Harris’s popular and highly entertaining lectures available to more students. Apparently Scott-Harris consented, because here Matthias was, setting up 21st century video cameras for the first day of class, according to a plan handed to Matthias personally by the Prophet himself.
[rewrite following exposition into the context of Matthias’s thoughts as he sets up cameras. by this time Matthias already has some sort of relationship with Taz, and he might think of Sammy and Mom, add these referances to his thoughts also]
Pershington was allowing Matthias to count the video project as a technology elective, giving him course credit for the time spent doing it as well as paying him as a teaching assistant, and paying him for the rights to his recordings. Great deal all around, but what really mattered was that Matthias was here, learning from The Amazing and Mysterious Jason Scott-Harris, the scholar he admired more than anyone else in the universe.
Matthias had applied to the university as a graduate student In Dream Studies, to work with Jason Scott-Harris, and Jonathan Landon. Scott-Harris and Landon were the foremost experts on dreaming in the country ---the world-- probably the galaxy, for that matter. But Landon was too sick to teach this semester, and Scott-Harris, being a very young and new to the profession of teaching, refused to sponsor a graduate student. Not willing to give up his dream without a fight, Matthias had hitchhiked to KS with the intention of making a personal appeal to Scott-Harris. He found the young man to be quite well guarded. But Pershington was so impressed with Matthias’s determination that he offered him a teaching assistantship in Retrotechnology, if he was willing to help deal with students for Professor Scott-Harris, who was notoriously bad about refusing to deal with students one-on-one. This way Matthias could get to know Scott-Harris personally, and might get his chance to convince him to mentor Matthias in dream studies.
Pershington came to check on Matthias before class. One of the ceiling cameras had a loose connection but Matthias didn’t have time to fix it before class. He told Pershington. Pershington offered to ask Jason to fix it for him. [translate that into an acctual conversation]
Pershington walked out the door and reentered with Professor Scott-Harris. They spoke breifly, gesturing at the camera and ropes Matthias had arranged. Pershington stood at the back, observing Matthias.
Matthias turned on the cameras. Jason ran right up the doorframe and headed for the ceiling like a squirrel climbing a tree. He hung there gripping the first ceiling beam with his toes, and the fingertips of one hand, upside down, in tan cotton shorts and an off-white t-shirt, like some alien albino amphibian defying gravity without the aid of Paragangian technology. He then repositioned himself, an elf in an ancient magical forest, sitting casually on the beam, oblivious to the danger of the height and the students below. He turned to each of Matthias’s camera and greeted them, Jumping and swinging like a monkey between the beams to get into the field of vision of each camera.
Matthias chose the best perspective to display for the students on the large projection screen at the front of the lecture hall. On a whim, he added a little 21st century background music. In keeping with the level of technology he was using for the day.
Then Matthias relaxed and just enjoyed the show. Magic. Real magic. No cheating here at all, and no hint of the terror he had seen in the eyes of the shy child who had given him the lesson plans two hours earlier.
Chapter 3 Jason's climbing entrance to RetrotechnologyEdit
POV Jason [POV Matthias for backstory book abt Jason’s last semester at KSU]
Jason looked around at the cameras, then up at the screen, getting his bearings relative to this change in his climbing environment. The path he normally took to the front lead over to the left but the camera he had been asked to repair was in the other direction.
Jason paused, upside down, when he reached the ceiling, then swung upright to sit on the first beam. He wiggled his toes. They were still a bit chilly but beam-clinging was getting them warmed up pretty fast. He’d made this climb so many times before he could do it easily and thoughtlessly even with cold toes. It was easier than climbing down the outside of the tower, which he sometimes did in the summer to avoid students and colleagues. FOr Jason, Climbing was as easy as walking down the isle to the lecturn. In fact, it was easier. Up here he was safe. The students couldn’t try to talk to him or ask him questions or shake his hand, or stand towering over him making him feel small and vulnerable. He did not have to fear them here. He was only a show, not really a man; some exotic creature from another time and place. They were a sea of impersonal humanity swaying slightly now to Matthias’s music. Jason didn’t recognize the tune, but he liked it. It added to the carnival atmosphere and in so doing increased the distance between himself and the crowd.
Climbing was always fun. He did a few flying leaps between beams just for his own entertainment and the students responded appreciatively. He wiggled his toes. Pretty well back to normal now.
Jason headed left, towards the ropes hanging the ceiling. He took the first flying swing in time with the music to cheers from the sea below, but held on to the rope there. he detached the next rope from the ceiling and wrapped it around his shoulders. He swung back to the same perch in the rafters he had departed. He stood, ran down the beam, stretched out to hook the rope to another beam and then hopped across several beams back and took another flying swing, landing on the beam adjacent to Matthias’s disconnected camera. He glanced down at Matthias, who grinned and waved.
Climbing was more fun with background music, and the class response better, too. Fixing cameras and adjusting his movements to make it easier for Matthias to capture made the climb more entertaining than just traveling from the back to the front of the lecture hall without having to deal with students. It gave the climb more of a feeling of purpose.
Jason fixed the camera, then looked to see that his image from that camera appeared on the screen. He met Matthias’s gaze again and smiled warmly. Knowing he would not have to deal with the questions at the end of the lecture also made him feel much more relaxed. Maybe the teaching assistant had been a good idea.
Enough fun; time to get to work. Jason headed for the floor of the Amphitheater, dropped from the rafters onto the platform to thunderous applause, signaled for Matthias to stop the music, and then began.
“Welcome to Introduction to Retro-technology. Anthropology 653. My name is Jason Scott-Harris, and the man with the cameras is my new teaching assistant Matthias Daniels. He’ll be addressing any questions you may have at the end of my lecture as well as explaining what he’s doing with the cameras.”
Chapter 4 rough draft of Jason's lectureEdit
This is the 4th time he has taught this same class, the first year he had very few students, but he impressed them so much that the word spread and now it is in the largest lecture hall available and they still turn people away. He’s very entertaining.
the requirement to have learned Spanish before taking the course was started the second semester, because Jason was annoyed the first time when some students had to use translaters to understand that part of the lecture. The course would fill a cultural overlay requirement, or a social science, it might be required for an anthropology degree, an elective for a history degree, or an Alien Studies degree, whether in the anthro tech or bio track of that program. It would be prerequisite for all Prophor Scott-Harris’s other courses: --to understand Jason, you have to take this course. In a sense, it would be intro to Professor Scott-Harris [Matthias might make a mental comment to this effect]
for the first lecture, Matthias would use digital equipment to record, and would then play back part of the tape for the students during the Q&A period after Jason’s lecture
Matthias would videotape Jason’s lectures, he would justify this as a study he is doing on 20th century recording technologies, so each lecture would be recorded using a different method…film cameras, audio cameras, stenography, digital video cameras, various different sorts of Digital video cameras, etc. His primary personal intention is just to record Jason because Jason is amazing to watch and listen to and he is Jason’s biggest fan.
In his lecture he would introduce a few basic principles of Anthropology which I want to use later in the story, cultural relativism, the definition of culture and of Anthropology, things like that.
His lecture would be passionate, a sort of baptist preacher style lecture performance, promoting very dramatically the history and importance of Retrotechnology, and also including a lot of fairly acrobatic climbing around. it might also include some roleplaying, as he is comfortable playing a role, to some degree. He might use some fun old 20th century lecture technology, such as powerpoint, or even film or slide projection,
probably as he spoke of each section of the course, he would take on the persona of a person from that culture, dress In the garb of the culture, and use technologies appropriate for such a lecture in that culture. His lecture performance would be highly entertaining, not because of anything he said, but because of his antics in the process, because of his physical skill in climbing walls and changing personas while talking.
because the appeal of his lecture style will be highly visual, however, this will be a great challenge to make it as fun in writing as it would be to be a student sitting in his lecture hall.
He would talk of D’zeron in this lecture,
and of the history of alien visitation of the earth,
The differences of technologies of different alien races, giving the example of the most advanced race in the galaxy, Paragangia, and the fact that they had no written language.
He would speak of his two field studies, in Mexico and at HomeWorld, and the limited tech levels of these worlds.
include in the lecture the catch phrases “going forward by going back” and “living with what you find”
[above is from previous chapter file]
Slightly edited and wiki posted on sept 16 2012
rough draft of Jasons lecture may 2011.
[combined with older outline for lecture]
historical information still needed:
--figure years pre-alliance of first contact.
--date of the shattering, etc.
in this course, as well as exploring more fully the doctrines and history of the field of Retrotechnology, we will examine in detail several examples of lower technology cultures with which I am familiar.
History of Retrotechnology:
In the early days of the earth alliance, many new technologies suddenly came to the earth from alien cultures, especially, from the planet HomeWorld and from Paragangia. Those which came from Paragangian included not only Paragangian technologies, most of which were withheld from Earth because they would be harmful, but primarily technologies the Paragagians brought to us from other cultures more similar to our own which they have encountered in their many journeys around the galaxy.
The history of Retrotechnology is closely connected with the history of the earth alliance, and the Anthropology and Alien Studies department at KSU. [*x number of years pre-alliance…figure this before moving on to next chapter] When Jordan Keerigan-Smith was with the KSU anthro department, he traveled to Mexico hoping to find the friend of a friend who had gone missing there. Orlando Cartwright. He had worked in Oaxaca as a young Anthropology student, and had traveled around Mexico with his mother, the artist Lynzee Keeringan-Smith who happens to also be my great great great grandmother.
He discovered that Orlando Cartwright was the son of the leader of a nearby village, [Name of Mexican village] and that village had been visited by aliens [for x years]. Next to that village now stand Earth Station Mexico. Any of you who have traveled off-world have certainly been there, unless you know someone with a HomeWorld air car
Those first Alien visitor were from the planet HomeWorld. Later In the semester we’ll talk more about HomeWorld when we discuss the LDS colony where I did my first field study. They had come seeking the original home planet of their people and seemed to believe that the Earth was that planet. Genetic studies indicate that it is highly possible that the people of HomeWorld came from the earth thousands of years ago, making Earth the true home world of the HomeWorld people. although the linguistic connections are not clear. It is possible that other Terran cultures had mixed with the people of HomeWorld, or that the people of earth came from Home World or that we both came from some other unknown place. Again, we will cover that later in more details.
HomeWorld, as you know, has it’s own sort of specialized space travel. With their assistance we explored the galaxy and 7 years later made first contact with Paragania, or more specifically, with the Marrion Jay space community lead by Sen’tran Jenzar. This was the beginning of the historical period we now call Earth Alliance.
Sen’Tran introduced us to Paragan, the leader of Paragangia, and the Earth Alliance began, with Paragangia receiving land in Mexico for a small Earth-based spaceport called Earth Station Mexico which would provide passage to the stars for the people of Earth. In exchange for that land the American government received a solar system with two planets called Beta Blue and Blue Destiny. A colony was sent to Blue Destiny, of artists and inventors, [date and details] followed a few years later with a Christian extreemist colony.[date, details]
With this sudden influx of Paraganigina and HomeWorld technology, and other alien technologies brought by the Paragangians and found through our new ability to travel throughout the galaxy, Jordan Keerigan- Smith realized the need to preserve and study less advanced technologies both of alien planets and older technologies of the Earth.
Thus the duel departments of Alien studies and Retrotechnology at KSU came into existence tight here in the first half-century of the Alliance. The movement because very popular among people who feared new alien technologies,
This influx of advanced technology disconcerted many people. The excessively rapid change caused the culture to destabilize. Professor Jordan-Kerrigan Smith, the founder of the Alien studies program at KSU recognizing the need, he initiated the Retrotechnology movement, an effort to seek less technological approaches to all areas of human life.
but within a generation, that fear had subsided and interest in Retrotechnology waned.
xxx[check this date when I do timeline]
Retrotechnology gained renewed interest after the implosion of the planet Paragangian, known as the Shattering, which was due to overdevelopment of the made-made structures of the planet.
The empire of Paragangia was shattered as well as their planet, all known members of the Paragan leadership clan…the Paragangian equivalent of a royal family….were lost in the implosion, as well as the science clan who had traveled to the planet to research it’s growing instability. Most of the remaining Paragangians were spacers who had never lived on the planet, and diplomats called Negotiators who had gone to represent the Paragan government to other alien cultures.
Around this time, the Christian colony on Blue Destiny and the other colony, which had migrated to Beta Blue, renaming the planet “Hell” both were mysteriously depopulated, as a Group of travelers going to visit relatives on Hell colony discovered. Finding the colonies empty, they then traveled to HomeWorld because the leader of that group, Emily Hawthorn, daughter of Dr Sherman Hawthorn Sr. He was a well respected member of our just-created Alien studies program, and was doing an extended field study on HomeWorld at the time of her birth, He had married a native of HomeWorld. Emily, being half native, wanted her son Isaiah to be raised there.
We will discuss that colony later also, as that is where I did my first friend study.
After the Shatter, Paragangian refugees gathered at Earth Station Mexico. This influx of population caused friction between the Paragangians and the local Mexicans. to settle this, the American government offered the local people the now Depopuated planet Blue Destiny, in exchange for land to build Earth Station Mexico into a home for all Paraganigan refugees. Thus, the first intentionally retro-technological colony was formed, Planet Mexico.
On this planet, no langauge other than the primitave langauge of Mexico, Spanish, is spoken and, apart from interplanetarty transportation systems to commute to Earth Station Mexico and relatives still living in Old Mexico, a relatively low level of technology was maintained. Old Mexico has also preserved a slightly lower level of technology, Having advanced less quickly due to poverty in the years before the Alliance. After the formation of Planet Mexico and ESM this tendency increased in all Mexican culture,
This also we will discuss detail later in the semester. [translate this line into Spanish]
Gradually, after a few generations, alien technologies became a casual accepted part of American technology, as did the process of assimilating them and assessing their impact on the culture. gradually, the need for Retrotechnology in the culture at large began to wane, and interest in the field declined entirely.
However, 40 years ago, with the help of Sen’tran Jenzar, the Paragangian Spacer from first contact, and our very own Professor Jonathan Landon discovered the planet we now know as Terran 8. On Terran 8 is the village called D’zeron, which has carefully maintained limits on their own technological development for a thousand years. This, my friends, was a retro-technological paradise, especially if the rectro-technologist happens to also enjoy dreaming and climbing.
D’zeron technology is based on skills such as the climbing I demonstrated earlier, and the ability to dream, rather than on creation of material objects. This we will also discuss in depth as the semester proceeds.
But before we explore these various extra terrestrial cultures, we will review the history of Earth technologies in various parts of the world, and last we will consider the present and future value if the study of retro-technology beyond the field of anthropology and Alien Studies.
but in the spirit of Retrotechnology, in the spirit of valuing the things of the past, preserving them for a future time when such things are again needed, the study of retro-technology continues. It helps us keep perspective and remember that going forward technological does not have to mean advancing to the more intensive technologies, sometimes to go forward, we need to remember to go back. more importantly, however, is the fact that there are still many cultures around the galaxy who live at lower levels of technology, and as many of us, as Alien studies students will train to serve in the Earth Defense Service as Negotiators, we will have use for this knowledge.
This concludes my portion of the introduction, now I turn you over to my Assistant Matthias, who will answer any questions you have about the course, explain the texts and evaluation procedures and introduce you to his recording project.
first, and concurrent with our history exploration, we will look at the LDS colony of HomeWorld, where I studied for one year as part of my masters program. then we will turn out attention to the Isolationist culture of Blue Destiny, popularly know as Planet Mexico, where I spent a year observing for my doctoral project..
lead by [name] the [org name people of planet mexico founding] took a retrotechnological stand. on planet mexico, they chose to seek the preservation of traditional Mexican culture, to the degree where any language other than Spanish is completely forbidden on the planet. exceptions are made for the languages of native tribes who lived in Earth Mexico before the coming of the Spanish. also forbidden is any technology of alien origin. they do of course make an exception for the technologies required to quickly transport between Planet Mexico and Earth Mexico.
we’ll also examine briefly culture of [name of village] the village of [that type of people] which has grown up outside the entrance of ESM, to serve the needs of Mexican travelers.
finally, we’ll turn our attention to my favorite area of interest, the Low technology village on Terra 8 called D’zeron. Travel to this remote and isolated village is tightly controlled, and no one from the earth has had the privilage of traveling there in the past 40 yrs, however, since the one man who has ever visited the village is my father, Professor Jonathan Landon, I will be able to give you a fair overview of this very interesting alien culture.
Matthias would introduce them to their printed text books [including the two books Jason has written about his field studies] and their wooden pencils and spiral notebooks to take notes on. [that would be for the Planet Mexico session. In that session, he would give part of a lecture In Spanish. He might allow them to use translators for a moment, but the he would require them to particiate in the lecture entirely in Spanish. He would offer them a paper syllibus, all of this which would be delivered to them by Matthias. Jason would not refer to him directly until the end of the lecture, when he leaves and allows Matthias to address any remaining questions. Jason would have Matthias make clear that he was not going to sign autographs, or schedule any personal interviews, and the any such request would bring forth grade penalties, and it is not appropriate to the course.
chapter 5 Jason and his ParentsEdit
[re write transition section into past tense and make it more active and personal--he can be thiningking about the history of the tower due to something with MAtthias or something in the lecture]
Jason leaves the lecture hall and goes to His office. It is the same office which was used by Jordan Keerigan-Smith, who Jason idolizes, or at least has some affinity for. Jordan was the founder of the Alien studies department, and one of the founders of Retro-technology. [*figure out the history of the tower room…the tower was added to the building in the time of Sherman Hawthorn to accommodate access from the roof by air cars.]
He feels a disconcerting discontent at teaching the same course he has taught 4 times, at the impersonal nature of the course, and a disconcerting excitement about having Matthias there to insulate him form the more annoying parts of it. He’s confused as to why it feels old even though teaching with Matthias and his cameras is very different than how he taught before.
He picks up his guitar, reminisces about his field studies, decide to go home and see how Jonathan is doing and pointedly leaves before Matthias arrives to brief him on the lecture. He isn’t interested in meeting with Matthias. He leaves a message that he has gone out and will meet with Matthias the next day.
Mom was in the kitchen boiling something.
“Smells good” said Jason “Tea, or dye stuff?”
“It should be a purplish blue color” Gloria Scott held up a spoonful of the dark liquid, explaining what plants she had used. Jason wasn’t really paying attention.
“For your world history tapestry? Looking more like teal so far. Got plans all drawn up?”
Mom wrinkled her nose and dropped a few more plants into the dye pot. “I’m procrastinating the Alliance Years panel. It’s been such a dull time for textile technologies. But the early sections, I’ve got those pretty well figured.”
Jason laid his guitar down on the kitchen counter. “How’s he doing?”
She stopped stirring, met Jason’s eyes and shrugged.
Jonathan lay curled up facing the wall. Jason lay down and snuggled up beside him. Increasingly over these past few months the illness was taking its toll, his body seemed more bone than flesh now. Not many men held out this long. Jonathan had so much will to live. He refused most pain medications, enduring cheerfully even the most difficult treatments. Disconcerting emotions engulfed Jason whenever he saw Jonathan now. Dispair? Love? remorse? admiration? awe? fear? sorrow? pity? agony? regret? No words seemed to gesture in the right direction. Jason’s current feelings confused him even more than all feelings always confused Jason. He feared the feelings and the confusion, knew that he feared them, and feared that fear as well.
Holding his father close Jason cried silent tears and wished he could take the pain into himself and ease Jonathan’s burden, so Jonathan would not carry this pain alone. Jonathan wrapped his thin but still surprisingly strong arms tightly around Jason’s arms, pulling him closer. Retrotechnology be damned, Jason thought. You stubborn old man, why not let go your pride and let yourself be healed? For me, because I need you, even if you don’t care about your own pain, even if you don’t mind dying. Your Paragangian friends at ESM could make this all go away if you just let them. Jason felt guilt for the thought, and vowed to be more true to the doctrine Retrotechnology. Jonathan had the right to choose his own life, including death and pain if that’s what he wanted. Jonathan was clearly in his right mind, less distracted by pain then a normal person would be when they had no pain.
“I’m sorry, Dad”
“Jase. No. It is what it is.” Jason could hear the pain in Jonathan’s voice, softer and slower than usual, as if he had to consciously form every sound of every word with full concentration. “How is your assistant?”
Jason pulled away slightly, and Jonathan turned painfully to meet his gaze. Jonathan’s eyes were completely grey. The pain must be terrible. Jonathan’s dark brown eyes color-shifted with his moods, like grey smoke spreading across the iris from the center.
Noticing Jason’s reaction to his eyes he closed them, leaned his head against Jason’s chest and Jason held him, helplessly, knowing he needed to answer Jonathan’s question, needed to think clearly and put into words the things he wanted to put out of his mind and forget. Jonathan needed something new to put his attention on. “Matthias Daniels. He’s not too bad. I helped him fix one of his cameras. He stayed at the end to handle questions. I haven’t really spoken with him yet.”
Jonathan’s eyes were almost completely brown again, and he was smiling. “So you like him, Jase. I knew you would. What’s he like?” [JOnathan has had some internet or phone contact with Matthias at this point, perhaps before he came to KSU]
His pain gets so much worse when I’m not here. But I can’t always be here. If I was, I’d run out of things to share. “No. I don’t like him, Dad. I like not having to answer questions. And fixing cameras make the climb more interesting. Less pointless, you know? You wanna dream now?” Sharing in dreams would be easier than trying to put it all into words. Especially since what Jason had lived through today was more significant of feelings than verbalizable facts.
Jason sat up and took off his t-shirt, then lay back down and wrapped his arms around his father and they both went right to sleep.
last edited Feb this section feb 20 2014
5X old notes and out takes from Ch. 5Edit
posted on wiki sept 2012
x2 --differant chapter
***To write this I need to make clear Jonathan’s state of health. Perhaps Jason would ask Jonathan, why if Alexandreil is the leader of Paragangia, why doesn’t he take Jonathan to Paragangia and heal him. Jonathan would try to answer this with a Retrotechnology answer. in fact, being a scholar of Retrotechnology would make a good cover for a lot of his hidden backstory. they would have already discussed this, so I need to be careful not to make it inappropriate exposition.
This chapter would show Jason’s very close relationship with Jonathan[and Gloria], and what Jonathan has told Jason about his son and the village. Jonathan will encourage him to insist on being allowed not to be linked, and especially not to receive an implant, [because he knows the hazard of this, but he would not tell Jason the hazard directy]. Jonathan would also perhaps express ambivalent animosity towards Sen’tran. At this point they are pretending that Alex and Sen banished him believing him a traitor. But Jason does not even know he was ever in Paragangia. But Jonathan defers to Sen, and trusts him, so he would tell Jason very little leaving it up to Sen how much Jason should be allowed to know at this point. Jonathan would know that Jason going on this journey probably means he will become Paragan. He might say a few things to try to soften the blow, without telling him anything. [he would tell him things about embracing his destiny.things which are calculated to be remembered and recognized at the time he realizes he is Paragan, such that he will then realize that Jonathan wants him to become Paragan, and knows.
Jason has shunned learning anything about Paragangia. Up to this point Jonathan has encouraged that, keeping him busy with other things, now he encourages him to began to learn, but Jason is still not interested. [balance between encouraging him to get to know Paragangia and keeping him from getting a implant any sooner than he has to. actually, Jonathan might encourage him to take a temp link. his mother has one, which he could use.]
There would be no mention of Desmond at this point, we are just introduced to his parents as his parents. The fact that his fathers name is not the same as his would be left to the reader to wonder about. Given the title “son of Desmond Harris” that speculation would be pretty obvious to most I think.
Chapter 6 Jonathan and Jason dream and Jason talks with GLoriaEdit
Jonathan and Jason dream scene
Consciously controlling his brain waves, Jason took himself immediately into [brain waves for sleep] and then to rem sleep. Jonathan was waiting: young, healthy, golden-skinned Jonathan, his short chestnut brown hair not even beginning to grey.
Jonathan wanted Jason to share the lecture, and Matthias. Potential friends for Jason always interested Jonathan as much as they didn’t interest Jason. Jason felt no need for friends. He had his parents. On HomeWorld, he had Aunt Rae and Leroy. There were a few people he met in his travels whom he still kept in touch with. But everyday sort of friends seemed pointless. For some reason Jonathan still hoped he would find some. Silly, Jason thought, but no harm in hoping.
“Share your pain first.” Insisted Jason.
“I’ll show you pain,” Young, golden Jonathan grinned, tackling Jason and wrestling him to the ground. Jason had always hated this game, but tolerated it because he loved Jonathan. Jonathan never failed to be amused at how Jason still panicked and screamed every time Jonathan tackled him.
When the panicking and screaming and wresting was done, and Jason lay out of breath on his back in a field of soft alien wildflowers under a bright blue-orange sky, Joanthan said “I went first last time. Besides I’ve got nothing new. Same old pain day after day. It’s your turn Jase. Show me.”
Jason conceded. He jumped up shook off the dust and leaves, then held out his hand and helped Jonathan up. “I‘m getting too old for this” Jonathan laughed. “You gotta stop tackling me like that, Jase.”
Jonathan was always impossible to refuse. Jason’s dream-sharing would take Jonathan’s mind away from the pain, if Jason went first. That way, when Jonathan finally shared his pain, there would be less of it present in his mind to share. This was Jason’s version of the wrestling game. If Jason went first, the pain would not be fully shared. The more Jonathan shared, the less he carried alone. Jason wanted to remove as much as possible. Jason now realized that Jonathan had chosen to go first yesterday because he had anticipated this. The old rogue.
On the other hand, sharing the lecture while it was fresh in Jason’s mind unshadowed by Jonathan’s pain probably was wise. This way Jonathan would get a more pure image of it, and he could replay it for himself later when Jason wasn’t home. It would help take his mind off the pain then too.
Replaying a memory with Jonathan was never the same as living it the first time. Jason knew what was coming, Jonathan’s feelings about the experience were there also, and Jason’s anticipation of Jonathan’s feelings. Jonathan liked Matthias, and this annoyed Jason. Jonathan laughed at Jason for being annoyed. That annoyed Jason even more. He pulled back just enough from the shared dream to feel Jonathan’s pain. He repented, resolving to allow Jonathan to enjoy Matthias and even to make a point to interact with Matthias more often in the future so he would be able to share that with Jonathan. Jonathan was pleased, and that made Jason happy.
Jason shared the air car ride in the snow, his run across the roof, and his initial encounter with Matthias. Jonathan found it all highly amusing. Jason shared the climb and the cameras and the lecture in detail, and then the air car ride home. The snow had stopped falling and the sun glistened off all the snow-covered trees. Jason hadn’t paid any attention to it at the time, but now, living it again with Jonathan, it was beautiful. Jonathan loved winter as well as any season. In the dream, he shared that love with Jason, and Jason could feel it too. too bad that feeling didn’t translate into waking when Jason was walking across the roof getting snow in his sandals.
Jason regretted that he had not paid more attention to the students. Jonathan found them fascinating. Jason had been distracted by Matthias’s recordings. But Jonathan would also enjoy watching those. Jason was curious to see them, too. He would watch them with Jonathan later.
When Jason’s day was shared, and Jonathan had made the most of it, finally Jonathan shared his pain. It was reaching the point where when Jonathan was alone he lost consciousness of everything but pain, became pain, and had no other form. With Jason, the pain was less than when he was alone. Gloria could not comfort him as well because she could not dream with him the way Jason did. It was a rare skill, not easy to develop even if you had the innate capacity. Gloria didn’t have it.
After the sharing of memories and pain, they created imaginary adventures together, carefully designed to distract Jonathan from his pain so he could sleep. Although they had spent the equivalent of several days together in dreams, when Jason awoke only an hour had passed. Jonathan was resting quietly in a dream paradise Jason had built for him, away from his pain for now but Jason felt the shadow of it upon himself, as if he was carrying away the pain so Jonathan could sleep and dream and rest.
Jason disentangled himself from Jonathan’s arms, put on his t-shirt and walked stiffly back to the kitchen.
Gloria was still making dye. “Not joining us for lunch, I gather?”
Jason climbed up onto the counter by the stove, and sat there with his arms wrapped tight around his legs, his head resting on his knees. “He’s resting now. The pain is worse than ever, Mom. How much longer can it go on like this? Why doesn’t he let someone heal him?”
Mom shook her head. “You know as well as I do, Sunshine. Pain meds make him too groggy to dream, and if he can’t dream, he declines even faster.”
“Yeah, I know, but you still have friends in Paragangia don’t you? From when you painted their historical mural. Why can’t he get help from them? He knows lots of people on Earth Station Mexico also. They can cure these things without using any drugs. I know. I’ve done some research.
She smiled up at him cheerfully. “Research on Paragangia? That’s wonderful, Sunshine. Paragangians are a beautiful people.”
“No, Mom. Research on the combination of immune system and nerve degeneration Dad has. Apparently Paragangians call it exile sickness, because they have no natural immunity so it often happens to them if they leave Paragangia. But they have ways of treating it.”
“They have ways of treating everything…” Mom looked up at Jason frowning, disappointed that he wasn’t researching Paragangia. She loved Paragangia, and never understood why being an anthropologist didn’t make Jason want to study Paragangia, just as Jonathan couldn’t understand Jason not wanting friends.
“Jonathan doesn’t choose it.” she continued “He’s had some hard experiences with Paragangia. He didn’t leave them on best of terms.”
“Would they be so heartless to just let a man die like this?”
“They have their reasons.” She shrugged “It’s Jonathan’s choice. He isn’t going to ask them for help.”
“That’s not fair, Mom. I don’t want to lose my Dad. And students like Matthias, who want to dream, I can’t teach them. I can’t bear the thought of dreaming with anyone other than Dad. Or of not having him to dream with.”
“You worry too much, Sunshine. He won’t leave you any too soon, and when he does, you’ll be able to dream with others. Don’t worry so much.”
MOim would never understand. She couldn’t dream. Jason unfurled silently back to the floor, put on his sandals and his wool coat, and headed out to the aircar, and the snow, and back to the university.
Chapter 7 Jason and MatthiasEdit
Jason goes back to the office to get some materials he wants to work on, and finds Matthias waiting for him, even though Jason had left a message saying he would meet with Matthias tomorrow.
After Matthias briefs a disinterested and impatient Jason on the lecture question session, He would make his observations about how Jason’s reclusive behavior increases his celebrity. If Jason interacted with the students more he wouldn’t be such a mythological figure. Jason would express the opinion that being a mysterious celebrity increases his effectiveness as a teacher of Retrotechnology, which is normally not a popular subject, and he doesn’t care whether the students like him or hate him as long as they take in his message and leave him alone.
“It’s your job to keep them from bothering me. It’s also your job not to bother me. Jonathan likes you a lot, but I don’t. Jonathan thinks I need friends, but I don’t. I don’t need anyone. Except Jonathan. And my mom.”
Matthias grinned “I miss my Mom. she won't talk to me anymore because she hates dreams. I’m glad Jonathan likes me.”
Jason turned tearful again. “So am I Matthias. Maybe that's why I put up with you. He hurts so much all the time now. Anything that captures his interest makes it easier for him. When I dream with him, He’s better, but I can’t dream with him all the time.”
“Will you teach me to dream, Professor Scott-Harris?”
“No. I can't. Jonathan likes you, but I don’t,” Jason tried to explain.
“So?” Matthias persisted.
“It’s not something I would do with just anyone. It’s very personal. He’s my Dad.”
“Jonathan did it with other people when he wasn't sick.” Matthias argued “I read Jonathan’s book about D’zeron, which talks about his dream studies here too.”
“Right. I’ve read it.” He looked apologetically up at the tall curly haired graduate student and Matthias grinned back amiably.
Jason blushed. Am I lying? Is it true I don’t like him? He’s like Jonathan when Jonathan was young. Only kinder, or maybe just more polite.
“I mean, I don’t want to like you” Jason tried to clarify, then realized that sounded even worse. Tears burned behind his eyes and he desperately wished Matthias would leave.
“I know, but maybe you will anyhow. We could try?”
Jason’s ambivalence finally brought forth tears and he didn’t even try to wipe them away. He did want to share with Matthias, --thoughts, feelings, who knows, maybe even dreams--but that would bring them closer than Jason wanted to be with anyone. He was trying not to share anything, and was already annoyed with himself for sharing more than he intended, and for wanting to share when he knew he did not want to live with the consequences.
“It’s okay to be confused, Jason” Matthias comforted, “It’s okay to feel all sorts of things at once, even things you don’t want to feel. There’s no commitment in feelings, they don’t own you unless you choose them.” Matthias wiped away tears from the side of Jason’s face, like Jonathan, an intimate gesture which normally would have offended him but somehow it didn’t. Maybe he was already too hurt to feel any more pain.
“No. It’s not okay.” insisted Jason
“That’s okay too, Jason. Everything’s okay.”
Jason smiled, and somehow, it was okay. Matthias left, still smiling, without another word.
[*** ---I need to write out the content of Jonathan’s book on D’zeron
this section edited feb 29 2014