Part 2: The Dueanian Cycle #8

Post date: May 7, 2017 3:48:35 PM

Part 2: The Dueanian Cycle


Fisher couldn’t believe she was about to have this conversation.

Was Lark really suggesting that alternative universes existed? That she and he could be living, having children, and dying on multiple plains of reality.

Fisher closed her eyes and tried to think. It was no use though. Her mind whirled around and around.

She opened her eyes and looked at her friend.

Baylee, who she’d known her entire life, was still adamantly arguing her case with Darek to continue the experimental micro-beaded enhanced water tests with Lark as the guinea pig. Darek was shaking his head and clenching his jaw so vehemently that he was in danger of cracking one of his back teeth.

Things were continuing to spiral downward and Fisher questioned her sanity. Was she on the edge of a precipice? Would one false step pitch her off the jagged outcropping to tumble into the void of delusion?

Was any of this real? Or was she simply having some psychedelic episode caused by yet another injection of the facility’s newest drug to try to up her chances of becoming pregnant?

“I haven’t been truthful to Baylee.”

Lark’s confession brought Fisher crashing back to reality. The physical plane of this beach, the log she was sitting on, and Lark himself.

Fisher looked to Lark. “Why am I not surprised,” she said, disgust filtering across her features. “And I doubt you’ll be honest with me now.”

Lark didn’t show any hint that he was going to acknowledge her sarcasm. He simply stated, “Dewey is from a parallel universe called Caradorynee and I know it’s fact because I’ve been there and seen things that I could never have begun to imagine existed.”

Fisher sighed and gave Lark a skeptical glare.

“I’m not a broad minded man,” Lark continued. “The world I saw, the inhabitants I encountered could never be of this earth or any measure of a cracked mind. I could touch what Dewey showed me, hear the murmurs of alien languages I couldn’t understand. I experienced the truth of another existence. Caradorynee is another version of our earth and what came through the rift between our two worlds is not some illusion.”

“Are you saying that something other than Dewey is invading earth?”

Lark nodded. “Yes. Call it a chemical compound, an antigen, or even a living micro-organism. Whatever it is, it seeped through the rift and affixed itself to our atmosphere. It feeds on a mixture of carbon dioxide and oxygen.”


Lark nodded again. “From what Dewey has told me it produces a byproduct that renders, at least here on earth, all living organisms sterile.”

Fisher raised an eyebrow. “Excuse me? That’s crazy.”

“Do you have a better explanation of why our world has been dying?”

Fisher paused for a second. “What about Baylee’s theory that the atmosphere lacks oxygen?”

Lark shrugged. “For all I know her theory is plausible. Restoring the oxygen levels could promote trees and plant life to regenerate. I’m not convinced that that alone would help the human population.”

“So you believe what Dewey told you?”

“The world’s reproductive cycle has been altered. There’s no denying that. Very few humans, animals, and plants have reproduced in the two hundred years I’ve been alive. I’m not a scientist, but I see no other plausible explanation. So yes, I do believe Dewey.”

Fisher pondered Lark’s words. “And Dewey is trying to reverse the effects of this pathogen from Caradorynee that’s invading our atmosphere?”

Lark nodded.


“By cleansing the atmosphere of the abundance of carbon dioxide Dewey is reducing the Caradorynee invader’s ability to influence the moisture content of rain and snow.”

“Basically then, all mankind needs to do is clean our water.”

“It’s not that simple.”

Fisher raised an eyebrow. “Why not?”

“Because Dewey says that nothing here on earth can simulate the unique chemical compounds he carries by being a Dueanian from Caradorynee.”

“How convenient,” Fisher scoffed.

Lark chuckled. “You’re a hard one to convince.”

Fisher shot Lark a dry look. “It still doesn’t explain why the drinking water in the facilities, which I assume at some point must be drawn from the cleansed rain and snow through our water reservoirs, hasn’t begun to increase our ability to reproduce.”

Lark shrugged.

Fisher swallowed. What Lark said did make sense, yet there were too many inconsistencies. It was increasingly becoming more difficult to conceive in the facilities and yet the Forlorn Ones were producing children.

“Is it because the Forlorn Ones are drinking the cleansed water the reason they’re beginning to reproduce?”


Fisher shook her head. “You’ve just contradicted yourself, Lark. If drinking the cleansed water makes us fertile, then we in the facilities should have just an much of a chance to reproduce as the Forlorn Ones, but we’re not.”

Lark shrugged again. “I don’t know, maybe the water purification process in the facilities somehow filters out the chemical compounds that Dewey has been injecting into the atmosphere that counters the Caradorynee invader.”

Fisher considered the possibility.

“I’ve heard that the babies the Forlorn Ones are having are different,” Fisher said.

“They are.”

“How so?”

“The children that being born are what we are referring to as DEH. Dueanian Enhanced Humans.”

A look of horror crossed Fisher’s face. “Dewey is merging with women in order to inpregnant them!”

Lark shook his head. “Definitely not. The fertilization process is strictly between humans,” Lark clarified.

“Then how?”

“By cleansing the atmosphere Dewey is also releasing a byproduct into the air in which we breath. That byproduct is what is merging with the fetus and changing the babies at a metabolic level.”

“So, these babies,” Fisher said carefully, “they’re no longer human?”

“Solely human,” Lark countered.

“But, they’re also not like you?”

“No, not like me. There’s two criteria to becoming a Dueally,” Lark explained. “You must first die and be willing to be revived by a Dueanian. Then you must travel to Caradorynee to partake in the Shegata Battles. After each successful challenge you receive the Shegata markings.”

Lark pushed back the sleeve of his coat to reveal the thin orange spiderweb of lines burned into the flesh of his forearm.

Fisher gasped.

“On Caradorynee these markings protect you from the corrosive vapour and ash of the Dormoan volcanoes.” He lightly tapped a forefinger along a squiggly line. The line began to glow faintly. “Without adequate protection a human will eventually perish.”

“What’s the second criteria?”

“That the Dueanian people deem you worthy enough to be returned to earth and provided with a Dueanian who becomes your companion as well as protector.”

Lark removed his finger and the orange line faded. He pushed the sleeve of his coat back down his arm.

“You merge with Dewey out of necessity, don’t you?”

Lark swallowed.

“And what happens if you don’t?”

“I die,” Lark stated simply.

Fisher glanced toward her friend. Baylee and Darek had stopping arguing only because Darek had stormed off down the beach and Baylee had had the good sense not to follow.

“Then why does Darek oppose your merging with Dewey if he knows you’ll die otherwise?”

“Darek doesn’t oppose my merging, for survival. He objects to Baylee’s insistence that I merge more frequently than needed. If I merge too frequently or like I did earlier with the vial of altered water, too rapidly, I could be exiled to Caradorynee.”

©Human in Inhuman Worlds by Janet Merritt