Excerpt from MURMUR: The Ming Realities Book Three
“Where am I?” Timeus asked.
“Where do you think you are?”
He considered this. “I believe I am where my mind used to go, when I worked so hard to shut out the cold and forget my mortal ills. I’m in the next dimension, am I not?”
“Got it in one!” Paradox enthused, light show flashing giddily. “People don’t usually guess that so quickly after crossing over.”
“Well, I had been ready to go for a long time, so I was mentally prepared,” Timeus reasoned. “I learned quite a lot in my five hundred years.”
The creature snorted a laugh. “You did in that reality, but don’t get cocky.”
“Do I have a face anymore?” Timeus asked, feeling his lips curve. “Can you see that I’m smiling?”
“I can, because that is the way you perceive yourself,” Paradox replied. “Does that make sense?”
His smile broadened. “It does. So, now what?”
“I’m glad you asked me that question. I’m going to give you the opportunity to help an old friend.”
“Of course! I always assumed the afterlife would be about supporting our loved ones. Which one?”
“I can’t believe he needs my help,” Timeus scoffed. “He’s one of the most noble—most incredible—souls I’ve ever encountered.”
“This iteration of Murmur is a bit different than the one you remember,” the creature explained. “We’re going to look at one of his other realities, where his powers aren’t as developed as they were in the one you recall. In this life, Murmur’s gifts are precisely equal to Ming’s.”
“You mean he can’t fling himself across the galaxy with a thought?” Timeus asked, obviously let down. “That’s too bad.”
“Not this time.” Paradox snickered. “Bear in mind that mortal creatures learn and grow in different ways in each life. In that reality, Murmur was inspired to use his gifts for the greater good. But the circumstances in this one make him reluctant to use them at all. The Falor Ordak are still considered the Keepers of the Flame. But in this case the ‘flame’ is their progeny rather than their soul. Essentially, they’re treated like pampered princes who aren’t required to do much of anything other than make a concerted effort to father a child with a Granite Butterfly, one of the legendary Mapek Kahrisi from their sister world of Telet across the galaxy.”
“They consider that more important than using the gift of healing?” Timeus asked in surprise.
“These Teletors believe that advanced beings like Ming and Murmur are the next step on their evolutionary ladder,” Paradox explained, “and that coaxing offspring out of these gifted anomalies with such similar DNA will create the first link in a new chain.”
Have they? Reproduced, I mean?”
“Ming and Murmur have not had a child. Not yet anyway,” Paradox giggled.
“That’s right, Ming-fan told me that you find references to time hilarious,” Timeus remarked.
“We all do in this realm. Time is just so ... irrelevant, you see? In any case, we need to visit this reality at a certain juncture in their lives. They haven’t met yet, but they will shortly