Book Four: Fates and Possibilities

In some versions of reality the Invaders have come and gone. The epidemic diseases have done their worst. Either the Rajalan System has survived or everything that lived in it has died. But in other versions of reality things have evolved at a different pace. The Invaders are still a distant threat across the arm of the galaxy and the epidemics have only begun to take hold of the Rajalan population.

For one version of Swee Dajomm there is only one reality. In the isolated jungle back to nature commune in which she lives, Swee is loved. And she loves her fellow commune members too. Swee is the commune’s leading herbal medicine practitioner, nutritionist and midwife. As such, her fellow members rely upon her. And she’s always looking for new ways to keep them well and happy.

When the children of the commune are victimized by a rash of serpent bites Swee decides to experiment upon herself in order to find new and better ways to treat them. One of the substances with which she experiments upon herself is the venom of the deadly Emperor Keperen serpent. The miniscule doses she introduces into her blood stream make her ill and cause her to have dreams and visions in which she experiences the life of the sentient being she might have become if her mother hadn’t kidnapped her and brought her to the commune as a girl, and in which she learns of momentous events which just may be happening outside the commune in her own reality.

Troubled by her visions, Swee attempts to learn if the events she has dreamed of are real. And finding that at least some of them are real, she leaves the commune to try to prevent the worst of her visions from becoming realities. It’s the first she’s left the commune since she was a girl.

Life outside the commune is dangerous for a young woman who has lived the better part of her life sheltered from the need to function in a competitive society, a woman who has lived without the need for money, without the need to distrust anyone she meets. And to stop the most nightmarish of her dreams from coming true Swee knows she’ll have to convince one of the most pragmatic, one of the most avaricious, men in the system to believe in her visions.

She’ll have help along the way: from men who might have loved her if her life had been different, from a sister her mother abandoned, from aliens who get inside her head. But it will be up to Swee to save the Rajalan worlds, even if she must evolve into another kind of sentient being to do it, even if it means she can never go home again.