Traveler's dilemma: to live forever but to not know who he was. Yet, he was obligated for holding another race's enslavement of all humanity in check--battle by battle--for millennia untold. With the help of a legion of comrades, lovers, and friends this immortal had vowed to fight against stupendous odds, even in the face of eventual defeat for as long as it would take. Have you ever daydreamed about the civilization of Atlantis? Have you ever wondered about the forces behind cattle mutilation? Do you believe in psychic powers or in gnomes, elves, or aliens? If these things are part of your dreams, nightmares, or fascinations, Soul Traveler is the fast-paced adventure for you.
A Hard Shell Word Factory Release
I started writing and illustrating my own story books as a child, but lost the desire one day when an uncle told me to, "Write about what you know. If you don't no nothin' then get out and learn somethin'!" I spent the next three decades traveling, seeing, and experiencing all that I could before I ever wrote a word again. My novels are the result. I'm a philosophical acrobat just settling into writing after a lifetime of travel and experience. I was a Physics major in college, a globe-hopping Avionics specialist-arms repairman-and accountant in a long Army association, a onetime rent-a-cop, and a Bank computer nerd for the last 9 years. If life is a banquet, I think I overate
"Author Laurance Pearsongreer must be the Soul Traveler because it seems impossible for someone to have written such an exhilarating but extremely complex science fiction tale as this one. The enjoyable elaborate story line needs two or three days to read, but is worth the time investment. The Traveler is as complicated a character an audience will find. Though some profanity occurs that fits the characters, following the puzzling thoughts and actions of the hero will lead readers to an intriguing look at the complicated, enigmatic, and perhaps even convoluted world of Mr. Pearsongreer where trips to Atlantis and Cleveland are the norm."Harriet Klausner -- The Best Reviews
"The entity known only as Traveler makes discoveries about the past and about himself. Join the cast of characters in their heroic adventure: exploring the ancient city of Atlantis, meeting an ancient race which has hidden themselves from humanity for thousands of years, and learning ... perhaps ... the meaning of life. Soul Traveler is not "light" reading; it is a complex book packed with ideas and possibilities which will cause the reader to think. Instead of reading it quickly, I'd recommend taking some time with it--enjoy it slowly. Allow yourself to pause and absorb the incredible storyline from time to time. Bouncing between multiple time periods, traveling the globe, Mr. Pearsongreer's story is one of technology, fantasy, morality, and theology. For a daring trip through time, space, and humanity, I'm happy to recommend Soul Traveler."Sally G. Laturi -- Ivy Quill Reviews
Chapter 1 -- Shannon: A Prologue
AT 4:00 P.M., THE SKY over Cleveland is overcast and colored sweatshirt gray. It is the day after Christmas, this year.
He, who has yet to acquire a name, sits in a filthy windowsill. The sash is sealed with an ancient sheet of plastic, meant to repel the icy fingers of the Lake Erie wind. Still, the relentless wind steals entry to his rented room.
From the single window the room owns, the view is of a snow-trimmed curving freeway. The freeway tarmac twists and turns upon itself, like a serpent's tongue, it gleams blackly with God's own tears turned to sleet in the winter chill. Candy-colored cars slide up and down its length on the way out to Suburbia. Those cars are fleeing the freezing rain as frantically as garden beetles avoiding a summer downpour.
The sky no longer offers light to his tiny room. The roaches venture out for dinner at the dusty, impotent, roach motel that leans in the corner by the door. As darkness engulfs this lakefront city, he is forced to move a pitifully thin arm towards a lamp. The lightbulb is a dull 40 watts. The lampshade, a patina-browned piece of cellophane, was adorned with representations of the Flintstones at a Bedrock beach party, but now the images are somewhat faded. There is a spasm in his extended long brown fingertips -- and light erupts into the darkness of the flop house room.
By an act of sheer will, energy flows to his ancient limbs; ageless muscle and sinew respond and his body rises to stand. He falls forward into a shuffle towards the door. The darkness has come and so he must go.
The Halogen street lamps make a harsh intrusion through the soothing darkness of his sunglasses. One city block back, he pilfered the wrap-around sunglasses at an all night drugstore. The glasses are an amenity required by his atrophied optical nerves, nerves that have not tasted even the kiss of genteel starlight -- in tens of centuries.
Do not think him a pitiful soul who was locked away from the light of the life-giving stars, it is only this particular ancient carcass that has lain unexposed for these many centuries. This ancient body has been held, unnaturally, outside the normal ebb and flow -- the eternal cycles of sun and stars and galaxies -- for this body has been held outside time, itself. This particular human hulk was acquired in a remote period of forgotten earth history; back thousands of years in the flow of time, in times about which modern man remembers little.
In order to answer the 'How,' of his sharing an alien body, we are required to take a walk along the banks of the 'Stream of Time.'
Time, for mortal beings, has always been like a whiff of a passing odor, like a barely perceived aroma. It was like an aroma swiftly held to the nose of perception, then spirited away.
Time is not always so.
For those in torment, time can be like a filthy stench that overwhelms human perception with its suffocating fumes, choking hope from the spirit through its moment by moment plodding dissipation. To the time-locked mortal, it can be like an endless penance for the sin of being born.
For he that is immortal, time is mutable, time is optional, it is even reversible!
Traveler is the only designation with which he chooses to identify himself. Traveler is his only noun or pronoun. It is what he is. It is what he does. To Traveler, there is no I or me, there is only...Traveler.
Traveler is like the chameleon. He may assume any fa\\a231ade or guise in the context of his time trips. He may assume a human body and its attendant identity, temporarily -- as cultural camouflage -- but in his eternal mind, he is still Traveler!
He, is a being of form without substance. He is a being of pulsating energies. He has to but will it and he can slip his own consciousness in or out of a will-less being's body. Another act of such will and he can slip from the bonds of time and space. However, such acts require an expenditure of tremendous energy, energy that he must draw from the atomic conversion of the very flesh he wears.
Traveler's conversion of his host body's mass into energy will exhaust every erg, every bit of energy that binds the body's molecules to each other. As a result, defying the laws of space and time is not without its costs. The body he assumes at the start of this Time-Slip will be little more than steaming water vapor and ash at its terminus -- and thus, at the terminus of Time-Slip, the immediate acquisition of a new host body is crucial. It is preferable the host be, mercifully, on the verge of death -- about to give up the ghost. An unoccupied vessel can be acquired more easily.
Traveler had found, from past experience, his intellect would degrade without the shelter of a corpus. Every minute of unprotected exposure to the random energies and radiations of the physical world, served only to inject static incoherencies into the cloud of electrical patterns that was his intellect. Traveler is intelligent, coherent, energy. Therefore with time, any outside energies could destroy first his mind and, eventually, his life force.
On this particular day, Traveler found himself plodding along in a carcass that would be better used for heating fuel than for walking. How he acquired this body is at the moment, unimportant. He needed this form to accomplish a task. The task was one of great importance. So much so, that it had caused him to cross the barriers of time and space.
The street before him was a landscape of gray snow covering damaged, or even missing, sections of sidewalk. Walking on the unpredictable surface was drudgery for this old body, but he continued anyway. He didn't know where he was or to where he was headed. He relied on an instinct as precise and finely tuned as any Geiger Counter used to find radiation. That instinct was leading him to someone he had never seen before, in a city he didn't know. But, nothing would deter him from searching block by block and street by street, until he found that certain someone.
"Hey, old dude! Where you goin'? You out here in this cold-ass weather 'cause you lookin' to maybe score som'tin?" said a skinny youth in baggy pants.
"Aw naw, man! Maybe, he's just lookin' for a Grocery," added another youth who had appeared out of nowhere, "Hey, Pops! You lookin' for the Quickie-Mart?"
Traveler ignored them. He had no interest in their inconsequential remarks.
"Hey, fucker! You better answer me, or I'll kick the shit out of yo' old ass! You holdin'? You out here looking to buy some food? Maybe, you out to score some shit, huh?" asked the first youth.
The young man had moved in closer to Traveler's field of vision. Now he could see the fellow was brown skinned, perhaps Latino, as they are called these days.
"Naw, man! This old shit ain't got no money...he's piss poor!" the other replied. This boy seemed to be a mix of races both dark and light. "But, maybe we can get somethin' for that big ass coat he's wearin'! You give up that coat old man and maybe we'll only beat the shit out of you!"
Yet Traveler did not vary his course or his speed, he merely plodded on.
The two surly fellows quickly glanced around them. The snows of Cleveland's winter were slowly beginning to fly again. Lake Effect snow is what it was called. These snows could arrive quickly and heavily, emerging from the chilled winds flowing across Lake Erie from Canada. The city could be blanketed in a cold white silence in no time. No one was likely to observe, or even notice what the two hoodlums planned to do next.
The Latino thug, decided now was the time to make a move. "Do it, man!"
With that remark, both youths grabbed one arm each and dragged the old man quickly into an alleyway. With practiced coordination they picked him up and slammed the waif-like man violently against a wooden alley fence. "Give us what we want fool," yelled the first youth.
"Yeah, give up the fuckin' coat, asshole!" screamed the second. Then he made a fist of a hammy hand. "Ain't talkin,' huh? Guess I'll beat the shit out of ya then!" His huge muscular arm moved in a flash! With a resounding BAM, the fist and the wall collided. "Aie-ee-ee-eek!" A screech of agony filled the air.
But Traveler, was not there.
"Mother-fuck! Where'd he go?"
"Fuck where he went, I think I broke my God-damned hand!" He felt a tap on his shoulder and turned to look.
"Look!" the friend cried, pointing nearly a full city block down at the other end of the alley.
Traveler, hands still inside his pockets, plodded along in his large warm coat. Exiting the snow filled alley he turned the corner, still heading in his same original direction. Unperturbed, Traveler continued his walk, silent, determined, unrelenting.
One hour later, some local thugs showed up at an Emergency Room. They were screaming that an old foreign guy had attacked them. The policeman on duty threatened to arrest them for suspected gang-related violence, but until their little story was checked out, they were entitled to some emergency aid. The boys were street wise. This was the only way the ER would aid a thug with a broken hand. The police would know this, too, so they wouldn't really rush to file a report. Being thugs they were probably lying, anyway.
Traveler, his senses operating at optimal range, scanned the Cleveland streets for a suitable host. His consciousness flicked from this person to that searching for the best possible accommodations for his next lifetime.
Traveler shuffled his arthritic feet across the broken cement. He made as much haste as possible from one side of the lamp-less intersection to the other. Despite the traffic he never trotted. He purposefully stepped with care, to avoid the cement fragments thrusting up through the dirty snow. A slush-pushing snowplow missed his fragile carcass by inches, as it rounded the corner. Fortunately, he just made it to the curb in time. Unsteady as he was, the slushy wake of the plow splashed over him like a great heavy wave, forcing him down to his knees.
Once in this position, Traveler paused to take a long rattling sigh. Then, on a hunch, he took advantage of his interrupted gait. He began to probe the mind of a nearby solitary woman. Her red boots extruded from a shadow-hidden doorway, not five feet from where his knees had come down. Traveler feigned helplessness. This was merely an excuse to delay, while he dived into her memory. He needed to determine her suitability, as a host.
A moment of delay, in her jaundice-eyed perspective, was long enough for Traveler to review a lifetime of abuse: of her; and by her. There was abuse of her innocence, by a drunken father. And abuse of her maternal bond, when Mama cast her out of the family Eden -- so as not to tempt Papa's lust anymore. There was the abuse of her potentials, due to the burden of the child she bore in incest. She was burdened to support that child by peddling her own flesh.
Having been schooled in the abusiveness of others, the girl graduated to self-abuse. Self-prostitution led to no self-esteem. A woman without esteem is easy prey for men who abuse with both the mind and the fist. She sought solace in a crack pipe, after graduating from booze and pills. The drugs abused her youth, making her ancient at twenty-five. Lack of her youth made her aware of her own mortality and also made her desperate for some kind of hope.
Shannon was her street name, she abandoned her given name when her innocence was taken.
She stood in the doorway of the closed 'Blood Plasma Center,' exploring the hole in her gums left by her recently departed tooth. The front tooth gave up the ghost at the insistence of her last client's right fist. That fist pounded her when she made the error of being caught exploring the client's pockets.
Shannon was fully dressed for 'business.' Like so many women of her profession, she dressed so she could readily display her assets to potential clientele -- a tight, white, short, shift of loosely knit wool that buttoned down the front. Red leather boots and woolen leggings topped off her ensemble. She was covered overall by a short, rose-colored parka, trimmed with a pink fake-fur collar without benefit of any undergarments. Most hookers wear a half-bra that lets their breasts be exposed and pushed-up, to create better cleavage. Curiously, Shannon did not. There was something atypical about her.