Redemption: Supernatural Time-Traveling Romance with Sci-fi and Metaphysics

 
 

REDEMPTION

 

By

 

Jacklyn A. Lo

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Supernatural

 
 

Time-Traveling

 
 

Romance

 
 

with Sci-fi and Theology

 

Text and Book Cover
 
© 2014 by Jacklyn A. Lo

 

All rights reserved.

No part of this novel may be reproduced,
distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying or otherwise without the prior written permission of
the writer or publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters,
businesses, places, events, technologies and incidents are either the products
of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to
actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not
intended by the author.

 
 
 

Published by FRG Oy

 
www.frg-oy.com

 
 

 
 

EVERYONE DIES.

 

It doesn’t matter if
you’re a king living it up in some grand palace or a slum dweller fighting for
survival in a cardboard shack
no one is
exempt. Death comes for us all in the end.

 

But what if death isn’t
the end? What if it is simply a link in a reincarnation chain that spans the
centuries and millennia? What if all of us are trapped in an endless cycle of
lives, doomed to suffer and die over and over again? Wouldn’t you want to break
free?

 

Some of us do.

 
 
 
 

Dedicated to Higher Inspiration

Contents

 
 

Part one: Freedom

 

Chicago U.S.A. 2045

 

Chapter One

Ann’s nightmare and
her robotic companion

In Artificial
Intelligence International

 

Chapter Two

Lunch with Japanese
Admirer

Fight with a shark

 

Chapter Three

Meeting with
man-eating Nina

First visit to the
psychic

 

Stone Age. No-name Land

 

Chapter Four

Ann is Mi, primordial
woman

The amorous claims of
Zo

 

Chapter Five

Lu rescues Mi and
leaves her for the hunt

Birth of the baby boy
Wu

The death of Lu. Mi’s
escape from the tribe

 

Chapter Six

Finding a new home

An attack on the
village

Zo again. The death
of Mi

 

Chicago U.S.A. 2045

 

Chapter Seven

Returning to Chicago

A Stone Age
exhibition

Meeting a Mysterious
Man

 

Part Two: Love

 

Chapter Eight

Hang-gliding with
Michael

Ann’s feelings for
the new man

 

Chapter Nine

Ann talks about God
and Religion with Rob

A team meeting in
A.I.I.

Second visit to the
psychic

 

Imperial Rome. First Century A.D

 

Chapter Ten

Ann is Ra, an
Egyptian eunuch

In the palace of the
Emperor Caligula

Ra’s love for a Briton
gladiator

 

Chapter
Eleven

Chariot racing

Anonymous gift to
Alfreda

 

Chapter
Twelve

Bad omen from Isis

A visit to a slave’s
owner

 

Chapter
Thirteen

A petition to
Caligula

Ra’s run to save
Alfreda’s life

Ra’s death

 

Part three: Courage

 

Chicago U.S.A. 2045

 

Chapter
Fourteen

A dinner with Michael

Ann discusses her
past lives with Rob

Ann’s compassion for
Peter

 

Chapter
Fifteen

Ann quizzes Rob about
reincarnation chain

Third visit to the
psychic

 

Paris, France. XVII Century

 

Chapter Sixteen

Ann is Isabelle, girl
from the slums

Isabelle is captivated
by a nobleman

Isabelle’s plan for
change

 

Chapter
Seventeen

Meeting the affluent
man

Life in Jean-Pierre’s
house

 

Chapter
Eighteen

Dressing up for a
high-society ball

Improving her skills

A suggestion to sing
for Louis XIV

 

Chapter
Nineteen

Isabelle’s
performance at the King’s palace

Meeting Babette and
her cousin

Hunting for deer and
setting a trap for Albert

 

Chapter
Twenty

In the private
chambers of the King

Isabelle moves into
the palace

The prima donna role
in the opera

 

Chapter
Twenty-one

Louis’ very special
present

Jealousy of the court
ladies

Isabelle’s death

 

Chicago U.S.A. 2045

 

Chapter
Twenty-two

Ann talks with the
psychic about fate

A message from
Michael

Is Michael a
corporate spy?

 

Part Four: Peace

 

Chapter
Twenty-three

Ann quizzes Rob on
free will

Tomo’s proposal and
Ann’s choice

Last visit to the
psychic

 

Smolensk Russia. July 1941

 

Chapter
Twenty-four

Ann is Helen, an
American agent in Russia

Under the Nazi’s
bombs

Elena’s dream of home

 

Yartsevo Russia. December 1941

 

Chapter
Twenty-five

Elena falls for talk
captain Konstantin

Her homeland is in
danger

 

Kharkov, Ukraine

 

Chapter
Twenty-six

Second meeting with
Konstantin

In the tank captain’s
room

 

Chapter
Twenty-seven

Elena becomes a
double agent

Recruiting a Gestapo
officer

 

Chapter
Twenty-eight

Elena’s pregnancy

In the plane with Nazis

Hans failed. Helen’s
death.

 

Chicago U.S.A. 2045

 

Chapter
Twenty-nine

In the Botanical
Gardens with Michael

 

Heaven

 

Heaven. No-time place.

 

Chapter
Thirty

Ann arrives in Heaven

Reception of angels

 

Epilogue

Getting immortality
and reuniting with Wu

Ann’s new coach is an
Archangel

A fresh wave of
romance with Michael

 
 

Part One

 
 

FREEDOM

 
 
 

Chicago, U.S.A. 2045

 

Chapter One

 

A
nn screamed.

A huge, seemingly unending spiral
held her in its powerful, merciless sway. She wanted to break away, to free
herself, but she was helpless, swept along the spiral like a grain of sand
buffeted by the sea. Small, insignificant and gripped with fear, she knew she
could easily be lost forever in the infinite depths of this mysterious power.

“I love you, Ann.” A man’s voice violated
her sleep and pushed her to open her eyes. She started awake, shuddering and
drenched in sweat. It was still dark. Very dark. The only light in the room
came from the sleek mobile device on her bedside table. Rubbing her sleepy
eyes, she reached out an arm from beneath the covers and groped for it. Jabbing
wearily at the off button, she noticed that the display said it was already
half past six. No time for more sleep.

“Your day is fully booked, my
lady,” said the voice again. It was coming from the mobile device. She glanced
back at it to see the 3D-face of Rob, her E-Assistant, smiling at her. “Time to
get up!”

Rob was the first Third
Generation E-A, a prototype that Ann had been testing for work purposes for
just over a month. Working at Artificial Intelligence International,
affectionately known as A.I.I., Ann had turned A.I.I.’s robotic products and
solutions into the company’s major cash cows over the last three years. The
company’s newest offering was the E-A, specifically designed for mobile
devices. Her sales and marketing team had been tasked with the job of getting
this latest model into the public arena, so she had taken on Rob to get a feel
for how the product performed.

“It’s another beautiful day,”
said Rob, dazzling her with his smile as a pair of sleek shades appeared on his
face. “The sun is shining and the temperature is perfect, just the way you like
it.” Connecting to the apartment’s SmartHome server, the automated system that
operated all of Ann’s domestic machines and appliances, he made the shutters in
the floor-to-ceiling window behind Ann’s bed vanish into the wall with little
more than a silky whisper, bathing her large, studio room in light. The view of
Chicago was breath-taking. The city was spread out far below, punctuated by the
vast, looming forms of skyscrapers, and in the distance Lake Michigan sparkled
in the morning sunlight. But Ann didn’t even glance at it. Instead she shielded
her eyes from the invasion of light.

“Okay, okay!” said Ann, getting
to her feet. “I get the message. I’m up.” And with that, and a long stretch,
she headed to the bathroom.

She gave herself a critical
once-over in the mirror and sighed. Her dark hair, usually so easy-going and
sleek, hung untidily across hunched up shoulders, and even her slender figure
seemed somehow hunched and crooked. It really hadn’t been a good night’s sleep.
She decided to use the usual remedy of a long, hot shower. Who care
d
if it meant she
would be a bit late for work? At least she would look the part.

Meanwhile, in the mirror, Rob
began shaving the night’s growth of stubble. Although he was entirely digital

nothing more than a clever piece of programming

everything about him, his looks, his personality, his fields of
knowledge and entertainment, even the requirement to shave and style his hair,
was selected and adjusted by the owner as desired. And as he trimmed pixel
bristles, he whistled contentedly to himself one of the many songs that Ann had
chosen for his repertoire.

“You look great, as always,” he
said, winking a green eye at her with a charming smile.

“You’re a terrible liar, Rob,”
said Ann, stepping into the shower. Immediately jets of water burst into life
from the wall, already at the optimum temperature. “But I will do soon!”

As she felt the last strands of
sleep wash away, Ann let her mind wander briefly back to the dream. It was the
same nightmare that had been haunting her for a few nights, bringing with it a
sense of unease and apprehension that she found hard to shake off.
Why do I feel so bad? Where are these
destructive feelings coming from?
Ann shuddered and faced the jets of
water.
I have security in my life and
things that most people can only imagine: prosperity, a great job, success and
a position of leadership. So the dreams can’t reflect my physical world…
She
put her hand under the splashing water and let it massage her palm, thinking
again of the images from her dream.
They
must be a sign of something else. Could they belong to non-materialistic
matters? Religion? What the priests speak of in church?
She shampooed her
hair, thinking,
what I do know about that
world?

~

“You had a bad dream,” Rob
observed, as Ann came back out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel. Ann paused.
Her chest still felt tight, as if the dream still had her in its grip. “They’re
quite common. One out of two adults has a nightmare on occasion,” he told her.

“It doesn’t help,” Ann frowned.

Perceiving her needs and her
moods, and even anticipating what information she might request at any moment,
was one of the great advantages of the E-A, and something Ann’s team had found
to be a major selling point for their clients. Although an E-A primarily
interacted with its user via a mobile device, it was really located in the
Artificial Intelligence Center, which was housed in the vast underground vaults
of the A.I.I. building. What the user saw was the front-end, the personality,
mannerisms and appearance that they had selected. But behind this was a wealth
of technology, intelligence and smart implementation. Each E-A had access to
the largest databases and e-libraries in the world, and was capable of
processing and analyzing any kind of information incredibly fast, far
beyond the mental capacity of any human being.
As such, not only was Rob
never actually off, but he was able to perform a vast array of functions in the
background such as researching, gathering and collating information in any
language, sorting and dealing with Ann’s emails, editing documents, taking
calls and so on. It usually gave Ann a feeling of satisfaction to see Rob
performing his job so well, but this morning she felt uncharacteristically
irritated, and Rob’s comment on the statistical frequency of nightmares did
little to comfort her.

“Rob,” she said, impulsively.
“Please check your information pools and see what you can tell me about
religion and…God perhaps.”

~

Rob sat on the dash of the car,
a beautiful sporty number, as she turned it down the ramp of the underground
parking lot and eased the vehicle into her usual space by the elevator. The
effect was slightly spoiled by her foot slipping on the gas pedal at the last
moment, causing the car to jerk forward, narrowly missing one of the huge
concrete pillars.

“Smooth,” said Rob. He smiled up
from the device, shaking his head slightly and causing the pixels of his
dark-blonde hair to wobble slightly. “I still love you, though.”

“Whoops!” Ann knocked the device
into the footwell with a graceful flick of her wrist and a sarcastic, “Sorry.”

Smiling to herself, she picked it
up, grabbed her bag from the passenger seat and headed for the elevator.

 

“Ann, you’re late!”

She glanced around at the man
approaching her from across the sales and marketing floor. The office space was
already teeming with life. To either side of the long, central gangway, desks
stretched away to the far walls, which were filled with rows of easily
accessible boxes brimming over with data-rich plastic files. Dotted among the
desks, and breaking up the formal lines of the room, were small rooms equipped
with 3D screens, where workers could engage in private conversations with their
clients from across the United States and throughout the world. Almost all the
desks were filled with people busy at their work, their slim computer terminals
pouring out information as though they had a life of their own, which, in a
sense, they did.

“I think the correct greeting,
Peter, would be “Good morning,” said Ann curtly, not bothering to slow down as
she made her way across the vast office. And it truly was vast. Its walls spanned
over three hundred meters, its ceiling was impractically, yet impressively,
high, and at the far end there rose a single, enormous window. “And I think
you’ll find I am never late,” she added, as Peter caught up with her. “I’m here
when I’m here, which is already far too much of the time.”

Peter kept up with her as she
strode along the immaculately polished gangway, but couldn’t think of anything
to say. Suddenly Ann stopped and turned to face him.

“I spoiled you boys too much,
that’s your problem. If it was up to you, I’d be living here, mothering you and
holding your hand through every little task.”

“Hah!” said Peter, with a grin. “If
my mother was as pretty as you, I’d never leave the house.”

There was a pause as Ann frowned
at him, just long enough to make him feel slightly uncomfortable.

“You know that sounds weird,
right?”

“Yeah,” said Peter, after a
moment’s thought. “I guess so.”

“My poor little baby.” Ann reached
up and pinched his cheek between her perfectly manicured fingers. Then,
laughing, she turned and walked away, leaving him staring after her,
absentmindedly rubbing his cheek.

“Good morning, Ann,” said Linda,
smiling warmly at her. Ann did not really approve of Linda. She was far too
bubbly and fussy for her liking. And her penchant for wearing an excessive
amount of perfume and dresses with huge flowers across them simply did not
match the casual dress code of the A.I.I., but Ann understood her reasons.
Linda’s job as coordinator of the sales and marketing floor was slowly being
made obsolete thanks to the AI machines such as the Mikes, so she was
desperately trying to find a new role to fill. The trouble was that she tried
too
hard, hence the perfume and the
frankly terrifying flowers on her dresses.

Ann waved a hand across her face
to ward off the overpowering fumes of the scent. Thankfully, Linda did not stop
to chat, but eagerly moved on, welcoming others with her most winning smile as
she made her way around the office. Ann turned to Peter and pointed at Linda’s
retreating back.

“You see?” she called to him. “Good
morning. That’s the way to greet someone.” And then, with her head up and her
back straight, she strode away.

Her domain was on one of the
eight raised areas that looked out over the office space, each one the home of
a Sales and Marketing team leader. Her seven counterparts were all men. In
fact, Ann was the only female team leader in the company, but she was comfortable
working with men and knew being the only woman among their number gave her a
competitive edge. As Ann approached her table, members of her team, whose desks
were nearest to hers, noticed. They sat up straighter and took on a more
purposeful appearance as Ann walked past.

Sitting down at her desk, she
looked out across the team. In addition to being responsible for the latest
versions of the E-A, they were also taking care of the sales and marketing of
the SmartHome servers, which had already been installed in over forty percent of
homes and offices across the United States and as many as thirty-five percent
in Europe. They were a good team, all of them hand-picked by Ann. One of the
latest members was a young man in his early twenties called John. Fresh out of college,
he had been delighted to land a much sought-after job on Ann’s team, and his
one desire was to prove himself to her. Often the first into the office and the
last out, John was something of a teacher’s pet, and it was not long before Ann
found him standing by her desk.

“Good morning, John,” she said,
leaning back in her chair and looking at him questioningly. “Anything I need to
know today?”

“Only that Steve in Operations
was looking to catch up with you.” Ann shook her head at this. Steve had been
with the company for almost thirty years, and he still hadn’t worked out how
the internal messaging system worked. “He wanted to discuss a few details in
the Smithson contract. And you have an encrypted message from upstairs, which I
assume has to do with the E-A. I’ve transferred it to your screen.”

“An encrypted message?” said Ann,
raising her eyebrows. “Intriguing. Thank you, John.”

She touched her screen, which
immediately came to life. Sure enough, she had a notification of the encrypted
message. It wasn’t just from upstairs, though, it was from the top! It could
only mean one of two things;
excellent news… or devastating news. As she entered
her decryption key, she thought over the E-A project and couldn’t think of
anything negative whatsoever, let alone devastating. It
had
to be good news.

The message flashed up and Ann
read through it quickly. Sensing John’s eyes on her, she allowed no reaction to
show in her face while reading.

“John,” she said. “Could you
arrange for a meeting later this morning with the whole team? I need to speak
with them about our progress with E-A.”

“Sure thing, boss,” said John,
already pulling up the relevant screen. “Er… how about ten o’clock in Mike 17?”

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