THE OUTER LIMITS
"The Sixth HAND"
by: Dan Bivens
"There is nothing wrong with your computer. Do not attempt to run a hard-drive scan. We are controlling this link. If we wish to make it louder, we will alter your computer's volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will mute it to less than a whisper. We can change your display screen to a soft blur. Or sharpen it to maximum pixel clarity. For the next few story-chapters of this site's link, sit quietly and we will control all that you read. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from your computer's processors to... The Outer Limits!"
"Cathy," came the muted Irish-accented voice of a sixty-something man, whose once dirty-blond hair had long ago turned gray. Sadness suffused said voice over the woman with whom he had made a life. Far after such as she had, quite literally, brought him back from the brink of The Unknown. Some forty-plus years earlier. "I love you so, Cathy. I don't know...what I'll do...without you."
"It's all right, my love," Cathy cooed, with a hint of the self-same accent, through a torrent of torturous agony created by the cancer claiming her once-supple Self. A cancer spreading rapidly with no hope of halting it or forcing such into remission. A cancer caught far too late via an actual medical diagnosis. "I...have had a life of Love...few could claim. A life...of Happiness...with just us two. My only regret...is in never giving you...a child."
"You know such was my fault, my love," the dutifully devout husband said, as a great grief threatened to dispel his smile, so tremulous yet so True. "Ever since that experiment I participated in so long ago..."
"Shh," she said softly, whilst touching tip of finger to the lips of the Love of Her Life. "Let my last memory...our last memory...be of...this one last kiss."
Even through the body-wide woe of unspeakable pain, Cathy allowed her lips to receive such a kiss from the only man, in all of the small mining community in the Lancashire area, in the beginning, and, in the decades since, all of Dublin...
"Forgive me for not being a better provider, Cathy..."
"Forgive me...for having to...leave you alone...Gwyllm..."
With that whispered exchange, charged with more emotion, pure and unrelenting, than any other couple could declare to feel for forty-plus years of connubial bliss...
...twixt Gwyllm Griffiths and Cathy Evans-Griffiths...
...both brought together through the hardships of so small a community...
...as well as the work, sinister said some or miraculous for a few, of Professor Mathers. The man who made it possible for a simple miner, whom hated both trade and town!, to taste the fantastic future of the evolution of Man in the dimness of Distant Time.
Something left as memory for Gwyllm Griffiths, as he and Cathy, wed almost immediately at the end of said experiment, thanks to Cathy Evans' internalized Love for a former friend-cum-monstrosity.
After which, in order to put that Past as far behind them as any couple could, the newlyweds left the Lancashire area for Dublin. Where Gwyllm was no longer doomed to the mines. And where both could, at long last, know the nature of True Love.
And, now, it would be a greatly grief-stricken Gwyllm who would, after the wake for his wife was followed by her burial back in the Lancashire area from whence the two of them had hailed...
"Even though I'd cast aside all recollections of the incredible power that came with my 'mutation' into a man from some six million years into humanity's Future," said the still-sad Gwyllm Griffiths to the headstone proclaiming the "Here Lies..." epitaph detailing Cathy's birth and death, long after the leaving of the few mourners from said township.
"Even though my love for you made it easy to shove such far from my mind, through the long and glorious years of a marriage most might call heaven-sent. Now that you are gone, my love. Now that I am alone and back in the town that turned me from hate-filled Human to...something else. I must, once more, claim that which was within my grasp so long ago.
"For, only by becoming the Ultimate Evolutionary Human...a Living Vortex of Cohesive Consciousness...can I hope to merge my multi-million year old mind with one only recently loosened into the Cosmos. Only then can my mind merge, eternally...with yours, my love."
After allowing an aged, shaky hand, already covered in liver spots twixt wrinkled flesh, to tenderly touch the smooth surface of his wife's three-and-a half foot tall cenotaph...
"I can only hope that Professor Mathers," sniffled Gwyllm seconds before leaving behind his beloved's graveside, "lives still. And still lives here."
"But," Gwyllm swore sinisterly to himself, whilst pulling a pistol from one pocket, "should he be reluctant to help my 'advancement'..."
No more needed to be said, as the gray-haired, wrinkled, though still spry, previously happy husband of Cathy Evans-Griffiths made his way toward the countryside estate he still remembered from a pre-married Past, wherein such as he had tasted Man's Future.
A taste that lasted through these long, yet exceedingly ecstatic with Cathy at his side!, years.
A taste which would now, finally, be taken to its absolute limits.
And, quite likely, far further than ever imagined.
Even by Professor Mathers.
END OF CHAPTER 1