Scholarly Dialogues (No. 1)

The Goblin RebellionIn the Primal Patterns series, Archimedes has an apprentice named Horace who follows him around, performs errands for him, and helps him maintain the Elven Realm universe. Horace is an especially pensive student and exceedingly brilliant in manipulating and understanding patterns, but sometimes, he has questions about the interactions between the patterns, their interactions with projections, and the immortals that travel between the shadows and the focus.

In this series of dialogues, I wanted to share some of the conversations Archimedes and Horace have in the time between repairing broken stairwells, diverting the Great Sorrow, and maintaining the elven people and worlds. There may be a chance of them being inserted into the series somewhere, but for the moment, I hope you find them entertaining in between novel releases of the series.


Horace leapt between staircases surrounding Archimedes study, feigning interest in the crumbling mortar and stone, but in truth searching for his mentor Archimedes. Within moments, he located the old man with the four-lensed binoculars and his white robe and sandals.

He crossed four staircases to come within feet of the old man before bowing slightly and waiting for his master to acknowledge him.

“You know I’m busy,” Archimedes said.

“I can come back if you like,” Horace said.

Archimedes mumbled and pushed his goggles to the top of his head, where they pinned down his long gray hair behind his ears. He didn’t leave, and he didn’t acknowledge Horace’s comment, so Horace knew that for the moment, the old man was humoring him.

“The demon wings have long been a curiosity of mine,” Horace said.

The old man smiled. “Yes, they are rather curious.”

“The wings themselves, I understand,” he said. “Realified extensions of the demon immortal race that are directly linked through shadow to the primal which projects them. What I find curious are the laws of nature they seem to allow demons to break.”

Archimedes sat down on the white stone stairway and dangled his legs into the vacuum of the shadow world around his study. “I assume you’re talking about the speed at which they can propel themselves through space.”

Horace nodded. “We can tweak the constant for the speed of light and gravitational waves in a projection, and this will affect the flow of time and how all creatures experience that dimension, but even so–you’re not supposed to be able to exceed that, even if only by a fraction.”

“What about apparation?” Archimedes replied. “Don’t most immortals find such tricks?”

“Yes, but it’s a trick. By opening a channel across shadow or to the pattern and back, we cut across space. C, the speed of light, doesn’t come into the equation.”

“Um hmm,” Archimedes agreed with him. He made a show of brushing himself off and got back to his feet before putting his hands behind his back and walking away.

“But…,” he said. “You never answered my question.”

“No. You did.”

“I don’t understand.”

Archimedes turned around to face him. “When a universe is made–that big bang, as they call it–the contents of the universe are in an unusual state. Energy is excited and space is expanding. The result is an expansion from a pinpoint to millions of miles across within a fraction of a second–faster than the speed of light, breaking your precious rule.”

Horace gnawed at his lip and tried to absorb the lesson. “So, the wings of the demons are absorbing energy from the vast reservoirs of the pattern…”

“Yes…”

“And they approach the speed of light after days of finding space handholds and expending that energy for propulsion…”

Archimedes nodded.

“And the contents of their bodies approach that unusual state that universes start in? All that energy in a small place with nowhere left to go?”

Horace smiled as his master patted him on the cheek and continued to nod.

“Something like that,” Archimedes said. “If you want to push through the speed of light, you only have a few options. Expand space around you, find a shortcut, or stop having mass and matter. In short, you need to find a shortcut through nature’s rules.”

“Thank you for the lesson, master.”

“And thank you for not falling through the stairs yet.”

They both laughed. Horace ran his hands through his curly hair and looked out into the heavens of the planetarium. “Do you think we’ll find the anomaly before it causes the Great Sorrow?”

“No,” Archimedes said. “Fate is fate.”

“Then why look for it?”

“So we can let the elven royal family know when it has to do what it has to do.”

Horace shook his head. Seemed like a waste of time.

“There’s a few stairwells to the east that could use some repair,” Archimedes said, turning away from his apprentice once more.

“I’m on it.”

About Rex Jameson
Rex Jameson is the author of the three novels in the Primal Patterns series and half a dozen short stories. An avid history buff and an unabashed nerd with an appetite for science fiction and fantasy, he loves to create complex speculative fiction with layered characters. He earned a PhD in Computer Science at Vanderbilt University and researches distributed artificial intelligence in robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. Rex and his wife Jenny live in Pittsburgh where they enjoy hosting family and friends.

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