Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 04 - "Tranz-D"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

on Tranz-D and warpgates

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG - Genres: Fantasy,Sci-fi - Published: 2008-10-21 - Updated: 2008-10-21 - 1442 words - Complete

“Alright,” said the librarian, “here is my understanding of things…”

Conan Swanson’s small, out-of-the-way office was several levels down from where Max first entered. They had traveled through a succession of rooms and down a great spiral stairway, swirling for at least a dozen floors above and below, to get there. Max was no longer so sure he could find his way back to the warpgate even if he tried.

“This isn’t really my forte, but I’ll try to explain it as best I can.” Swanson drew a line on a piece of paper. “According to most books I’ve read, the first dimension is just a line, an endless line.”

Max sat on the other side of the desk as the librarian drew his diagrams.

“A line has only one dimension: length. But if you square it—” and he turned the line into a square “—you have two dimensions: length and height… Max, are you paying attention?”

It wasn’t that Swanson’s lecture didn’t interest Max, but right now the box of cookies on the other side of the desk was offering some serious competition. A moment later his stomach put in its two cents on all this running around without even a bite of breakfast. When he realized that his new friend was staring at him, Max’s embarrassment was quite apparent.

“I’m sorry, Conan. It’s just that I didn’t even get to have breakfast before I wound up in there…”


Figuring that this young man must have passed through many perils to accomplish as much as he had, Swanson offered him the whole box. Max had never tasted peanut butter before, but it only took one bite to decide that he had just found a new favorite. When Bandit actually started drooling, Max offered him several, and the big cat inhaled them.

As Max continued to munch down the box, Swanson resumed his impromptu presentation on dimensions, telling him, “So now you have two dimensions, but if you cube it…”

It took just a moment to draw the square into a cube.

“…You get a new dimension: depth. This is the way we see things around us. You get it so far?”


Max remembered years ago when Mom had tried to tell him something like this, but back then he had found it confusing. This time he found he could follow the basic line of thought.

“Good,” said the librarian, “because this is where it gets tricky. I don’t know how to ‘draw’ the fourth dimension because—”

“Wait a minute— there are more?”

“Yes, and plenty of them, according to some theories. One guy I’ve been reading lately— Hawking, I think his name was— insists there are at least nine or ten… Anyway, as I was saying, the fourth dimension is said to be time. Everything moves through both time and space.

“I don’t know much about what’s beyond, but one book I read claimed that the creators of Tranz-D used the secret of the fifth dimension to create the warpgates, perhaps even Tranz-D itself. But the weirdest thing, now that I think about it, is how many travelers I’ve met who insist that this world is the Sixth Dimension. They say that beyond this district is a vast, seemingly endless jumble of realms. Some say the rules are different than the realm they came from, like another world…”

Much like how Mom and Dad, and even Uncle Angus, always described it. By now he and Bandit had decimated the entire box of cookies, and his attention had turned more fully to the implications of the librarian’s words. Now he asked, “So what do you know about the seventh?”

“Nothing, really, but based on what a few people have told me, the Seventh is even more of a headache. A real nightmare.”

“Hmm…” Max’s head was reeling from this massive dose of information, and his thoughts wandered from one idea to the next at random as he tried to piece it all together.

“Anyway,” Swanson remarked, “this is getting way off track.” His fixation thinly veiled, he said, “You came from Tranz-D, yet you say you’re not from there. So how did you end up in that world in the first place?”

Max tried to think back. So much had happened in the meantime that this morning felt like a long time ago. Starting with he and Justin’s morning swim, he explained about the whirlpool, the cave, and the hole in the wall.

“Was this hole shaped like a door, by any chance?” Swanson asked him.


When Max further described the hole, Swanson told him, “It’s likely that you passed through a rift between dimensions when you entered Tranz-D.” Then, after a moment of contemplation, “It’s entirely possible that the dimensional integrity of Tranz-D itself is deteriorating, and ‘holes’ are appearing between that dimension and others… But why?…”

“Holes between dimensions…” To Max, this was starting to sound like something from one of his parents’ more bizarre accounts.

“Please tell me, Max, what was going on in there?” Swanson pressed him still further.

“Well… nothing, at first. There was no one around. Then this alarm started and there were robot guards everywhere…”

“Androids…” Swanson mused after Max explained about his capture and finding his new gear in the holding cell, “but no people…” Yet, after such a battle, he had no trouble seeing why Max was so wary. “And you say you have a friend trapped in there?”

“Yeah!” Max nearly knocked over his chair standing up. He had gotten so lost in this place, and the librarian’s explanations. “I almost forgot! I’ve gotta go find him!”

“Whoa! Slow down, man,” Swanson said. “Do you even know where to begin? Your friend may still be alive but—”

“He has to be,” Max cut him off with quiet determination, and a look the librarian was sure must have a sad tale to go with it, “Not him too… He’s my friend. I have to go back and see.”

“Well, on one hand, I would suggest you go find him as soon as you can. But given what you’re up against, I wouldn’t recommend going in unprepared.”

“I have to do something.”

“I know. Most of what little we have about Tranz-D is on the thirteenth floor, the same level as the warpgate. The Centralict Library has been built and rebuilt many times over the centuries, but those books are always kept near the warpgate. After all, it’s said that the creators of Tranz-D were also the founders of this library. Of course, I don’t like to go to that section anymore unless my work takes me there.” Even as he said this, he tried to remember what errand had brought him to that section to begin with anyway.

“You see, in recent years, people have started disappearing without a trace. From time to time. At first, I just liked to believe people were leaving without telling their friends, but it’s gotten worse over the years. I shouldn’t even be telling you this— my supervisors don’t like us to talk about it— but now I’m beginning to think that the disappearances may have something to do with that warpgate… If something has gone wrong in Tranz-D… Maybe deterioration of dimensional barriers…”

“I have to try.”

“Good luck, Max. I hope you find your friend.”

Seeing that he wasn’t going to be able to get any further information out of Max as long as he was focused on finding Justin, the librarian gave him directions back to the warpgate, and some info on where to find the most useful books he could think of. In spite of Swanson’s warning, Max had decided to try to get some more information. In spite of his sense of urgency, he reminded himself that he had no way of finding Justin, and would quickly become as lost as his friend was.

As he wandered among the stacks, scanning the guide signs, he thought about all his parents’ tales, and his increasing certainty that he was now living in one. Back then, he had believed in them unquestioningly. During his long years in Paradise, had wanted to believe as the outside world grew ever more distant.

In fact, now that he thought about it, he had never really stopped believing.

Yet Max would soon be doing his believing someplace else, as the room shimmered for a moment, and then was vacant.
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