Serialized Science Fiction.

Strange Origins
Tom Haynes

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the end of the slip, he realized that the Comprehensive Transmission of Auric Ether method was just a file and the slip was a hard drive, no, it was a computer. What else was there packed away?

His noon deadline passed by, he would have to wait another day if he wanted to active his Yang branch.

He thought ":q" and then "ls -la" to the slip. It worked. It was a home dir in the slip. There was a file called "Comprehensive\ Transmission\ of\ Auric\ Ether.txt" and it was owned by him. Hadn't The Duck said it was keying the method to him?

His was the only user account in the home directory. What? And he couldn't see "/root"? Oh, it must be a chroot jail. He was limited to what he had for now.

And there was one more file, it was called "openings.txt" and it was owned by him! He quickly thought "vi openings.txt" (and if you have to ask why he didn't do "emacs openings.txt", this serialization is not for you!).

The file was garbage. So it was ":q" and then "file openings.txt". It was gzip data. "cp openings.txt openings.txt.bak; mv openings.txt openings.gz; gunzip openings.gz; ls -lat" resulted in a new file called "openings" and it was a binary! A simple "./openings" and Bob was his uncle! In other words, someone had renamed the file to get past some download rules.

Chapter 3: Openings, or do you really want to run a strange file without a virus checker?

Arthur's eyes blasted out an optical beam - as if Cyclops saw Phoenix bend over in her tight green costume! The red beams bent around his body, forming a cocoon of energy. It was a warm, welcoming energy. The Duck's voice came over a non-existent PA, "Brat, be careful with strange programs on the jade slip. They may not always be from me."

After that, the red light soaked into his abdomen. Arthur made himself follow the light as he also followed along in the first section of the Comprehensive Transmission of Auric Ether method. He had done a "^Z bg &" and then quickly opened up the method. After all, The Duck had hinted pretty strongly to him that he needed to multitask and this little trick should allow him to open his Dantian in the background.

The slip made clear that he wasn't forming a sea of qi, but rather a sphere of energy that would become the core of his Dantian. It wasn't clear when or if he would form a sea.

So he wasn't surprised at the small laser like dot that came into focus. As soon as it came into existence, he dropped down into a lotus position. Strangely, his body didn't act like it was 55 years old and suffering from stiffness. The legs just slide into position. He started forming hand seals, for all purposes, it was the Mudras he had learned in his yoga classes. He followed the sequence in the slip. His focus was totally on it and not the openings process.

As his Dantian developed, he effectively started cultivating. He thought he would be drawing power from the noon sun, but it seemed it was more from the gentle waves the wind was sculpting on the pond. It was a subtle energy, he really could not tell if it was Yin or Yang. Perhaps both?

According to the method, the initial Dantian would be formed based on the potential of the cultivator, the source of the Qi that initiated the process, the type of Qi (Wait, type? Was this more than Yin and Yang), and finally the length of time the ceremony lasted. Arthur had no clue about either his potential, the source, nor the type. But he was trying

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