Written by castor :: [Wednesday, 24 September 2014 21:33] Last updated by :: [Friday, 26 September 2014 04:50]
Special thanks to Dru for Editing and proofreeding and Twice on Tuesday for the idea)
“What are you looking at?” asked Randall.
“What you’re not,” said Jane as she laid down on the quad.
Randall shook his head. Jane was, like him, a student of physics – but much weirder. Going into the major he had heard physicists could be odd – and he had met people in the department who may be on some sort of Scale somewhere--but Jane … well yeah. She was friendly in the kind of way that was unfriendly – she was polite to people who she met, engaged him when he talked to her and seemed present – but she also had a tendency to stare at weird things for what seemed like hours at a time, say strange things like that … and when pressed, tended to walk away shaking her head, not bothering to explain.
Which was a shame. She was a very pretty girl in her way. Small – she was 5 feet tall and probably weighed in the double digits, and the kind of small that didn’t have a spare ounce of fat – which didn’t make her muscular. But she had long brown hair that did visibly shine and a cute smile and face when you looked at it – if she was small.
Well, to Randall everyone was small. He was 6’6” and weighed at his peak close to 300 pounds of (mostly) muscle. He had lost a little weight since his sophomore year. He had a knee injury on the field and his football career was over – but if his scholarship dried up they couldn’t revoke his place in the university so here he was.
Worrying about this weird girl.
“Sorry I asked.”
Jane shrugged. “I would think a student of physics would be more curious of the universe.”
“Not as curious as you are.”
“Well,” she paused to ask, “do you have a minute?”
Randal paused. He was in the weird moment between classes. “Sure.”
“The first question is: what do you see.” asked Jane.
“It’s a tree. I think it’s an oak tree.”
“Were you one of those sports people?”
Randall turned and walked away.
“Sorry sorry, I apologize for that. That was unfair. Really … that shouldn’t affect your perception … but what you are seeing is … light. It’s bouncing off said oak tree.”
Randal shook his head. “Okay.”
“There are five main forces,” said Jane, “In the physical universe. Well, four you know about and that works for our principle: Light, visible light is a very small part of the projection of Electromagnetism in the universe. Stars shoot it off as part of there atomic reactions. They also shoot off radio waves, ultraviolet …”
“And your seeing those?” Randall inquired “Do you have the cones and rods to do that?”
“That’s a good science term,” said Jane. “And no. You see, there’s a far stronger force in the universe. Gravity. It binds all aspects of the universe – the pull of a more powerful object to a weaker one.”
“Right,” said Randall. “Except it doesn’t produce anything you see – its one of the mysterious qualities of the universe – you can take something halfway across the universe and its effected by the gravity of another object … but with no …”
“Detectable connection between the two – no lightwave for gravity.”
Randall paused. “So that’s what you’re not seeing. Clever Jane.”
Jane continued. “Well that’s what you’re not seeing.”
Randal paused. He should walk away again passably for ever but
“And you can?”
“It’s not even precisely rods and cones – they work because they have electromagnetism – and I suppose it’s not even seeing as it’s not really my eyes … but yes. Right now I am looking at gravity.”
“You’re seeing how heavy I am?” Asked Randall.
“About 244 pounds.”
“Would it please you to know that only 5 percent of it is body fat? I know people here consider that very important, so this is a very good percentage.”
“You’re very pretty yourself.”
“Thank you I suppose. But such qualifications are meaningless in the end.”
“Are they?” said Randall, deciding to play her game. “Aren’t they just an aspect of perception – however limited ones senses are … we must judge them aesthetically?”
“I suppose,” said Jane. “Human have incredibly limited olfactory ability to detect chemicals in the air – but a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. It’s a slightly sexist comment.”
“Because I am a heterosexual male?”
“So does that mean you want to have sexual relations with me?”
Randal paused. He considered that statement.
“Honestly, not right now … but in theory, yes, that’s a possible reaction.”
Jane looked as if she was about to say something, but laughed. “People! You can’t go two minutes without having a conversation turn to sex.”
“You were the one who brought up sex … and what do you see in the tree lets turn it back to that?”
Jane paused. “I’m sorry. I just feel a bit of a cliché right now … .a sexual object whose only purpose is to satisfy.”
Randall took Janes hand.
“Well, okay then. What do I see … the tree weighs 945 pounds in this gravity, the primary force of which is towards the centre of the Earth’s mass. It has a well developed distribution network.”
“Only 945 … I would have assumed heavier.”
“Trees, for their height, can weigh less then you think … but the interesting thing to me is the distribution network – how the branches work with the structure of the tree to extend nearly 40 feet across in a circle with a single mast in the center, how it uses cellulose bonds to create strong delicate strands … it’s quite interesting how it is constantly subject to gravity and defies it.”
Randall sat down next to Jane. “Is it beautiful?”
Jane paused. “I suppose … yes.”
Randal nodded. “I can see that. It’s not physics, though.”
“The aesthetics of it? True but the understanding. Thank you.”
“For what?” Randall wondered.
“Observations like are is why I am here. I mean, I can understand the physics of the tree anywhere – I could perceive it literally anywhere in the universe with fine enough ‘eyes’ but its conversations like this that make me realise this – even if it is tinged by your desire to get into my pants.”
“Don’t reduce me to a penis,” said Randal “That’s insulting.”
“Then why is gravity effecting your penis differently now?” smiled Jane. “In any case, I should respect your intellect as you should respect mine. Why are you studying physics?”
It was a question that Randall had thought about. When he had talked to the coach he had been told even with the injury he would put a good word in with a boosters. Get a good degree and he could be assured a job somewhere with a nice desk. Recently he had some aspirations, however, to get his masters – maybe teach … but …
“I find it interesting” said Randall. “The universe … the cosmos …”
“So much, though, of physics is about reducing it though playing with math. You can’t solve the universe on a calculator, you need to perceive it better.”
She got up softly, leaving Randall on the ground. The large man was now smaller then the short woman. He looked up at her not so much towering over him.
“Since you have gifted me with a great insight, I am going to give you a gift. Well … a choice of them.”
“Okay,” said Randall, leaning back. He had the question: Was this serious or was this a joke? It was not a real question to ask of course. He decided then, for the purposes of this argument, it was best to treat it fairly.
“A choice – I will show you something, not tell you but show you something. You may think it some special genetics or magic powers that let me do it, but not – and let us assume something.”
“This is sounding very philosophical.”
“Well … perhaps,” said Jane, “but let us assume by showing you this thing and documenting the results you can figure out how I did it. And by doing so, by dedicating your life to its research, you will discover the basics of how I did it – and within … five generations … will discover the keys to the universe from what I did.”
“This is Offer one?”
“And offer two,” continued Jane “I will spend one night with you. I was going to make it one kiss but thats not really fair.”
“Still not very fair,” said Randall. “You want love or at least acceptance, desire, you’re making it sound clinical. I am not into rape, physical or economic.”
Jane considered. “Okay. Fair point – you have given me a second insight into the universe. So I will instead endeavour to try my best to fall in love with you to see past your faults to whatever aesthetics exist in your soul – to be a good wife in time, perhaps a mother of your children. It’s quite possible that I can continue to get insights now and then, and would probably learn a great deal from that.”
Randal considered. “okay.”
“And let us state for the sake of argument: Both results would have the same economic status – you may gain tenure from a dry academic paper explaining it, but not much. Wealth and fame will come to others working on your back. In normal life you will find success and happiness with me as much as another.”
“Are you god?” asked Randall.
“No, but I am smart,” said Jane, “and that often works out the same.”
Randall giggled. “Okay. Two options. Any other modifiers?”
She then looked at him. He looked back. He considered. “Will we ever discover what you are about to show me on our own?”
She shrugged. “You will have advanced mans understanding of the universe by say … a good thousand years … to the extent that matters.”
Randall paused. “Option one then.”
Jane got up. She walked up to the oak tree, grabbed it by its side, and pulled it from the ground with no effort whatsoever. It was no groans or grabs or tensely coiled muscles. Just a jerk.
She walked over to Randall. “This tree weighs 945 pounds, as described. To lift it alone is more force then a 93 pound woman can theoretically exert – removing dirt – that pull you just observed required 4 tons of force, of negative gravity.”
Randall looked shocked … mouth agape … then paused. “You’re not …”
“I am what I am,” said the woman named Jane, “and the point of it is not only to show you, but to shock you … to communicate the value of our conservation – about the observation of gravity. Now, traditional force is the method we use to counteract it. But it’s not the only one. It’s not because my muscles are smaller or larger that I am strong – no genetic trick … but my mastery of it. As I have said, within five generations.”
Randall was silent.
“Of course, by doing this I removed the illusions that any relationship between us will be based. You will view me as a freak – a monster – or a goddess. It matters the same in the end. Semantics. A true relationship, a true romance, is now quite impossible. I suppose I could give you my original offer, but if you were to accept it now I would think less of you.”
She put the tree down. “Think about what I have said today.”
Randall looked at her, looked at the small girl with the pretty hair … and eyes. Did they look sad? Was it a reflection? In the moment he realized he did love her, or loved the version before. She was shy he guessed at some level really, no matter what intellect created her there was still that, some distance … something that he could have.
“Did I make the right choice?”
The woman leant forward and kissed his forehead.
“Thank you for asking.”
She then leapt up into the air and flew away into the daylight.