Book Seven: Shared Possibilities

In a jungle commune on the Rajalan mother world, Raja, Swee dreams disturbing dreams. A man in a casket is crying out to her to hold him. But she can’t because she can’t open the casket lid. His name is Jenken. And the casket is out in the cold of space.

Just days later, Swee learns a visitor is coming to the commune. His name is Jenken. He’s coming from off world, the first off world visitor to the commune in as long as Swee can remember. And his description, such as it is, fits the man in her dream. The woman who recruits new members for the commune feels it’s very important to recruit Jenken, but that his hang ups may keep him from joining. Because of her dream Swee agrees to be his advisor during his visit.

On Raja’s nearest moon, Linguin, Swee Dajomm is desperately holding onto a man who is dear to her. She fears that if she lets him go for so much as a moment she’ll lose him, not the actual man she’s holding, but an alternate version of him who’s in a life support chamber on a space station a light-year out in space, in a coma, holding onto his life by a thread.

The man’s name is Jenken. The Jenken on the space station is a might-have-been version of the Jenken in her arms, a Jenken who might have been if things had turned out just a little differently. And they did turn out a little differently, in that way and in many other ways.

Swee knows of the Jenken in need of holding because she too has a counterpart version of herself on that station. And Swee is able to experience that counterpart’s reality. A medical experiment she performed upon herself has produced changes in her brain. She can experience the existence of many of her counterparts in many versions of reality that might have been and are.

On a space station a light-year off the edge of the Rajalan System Swenna Dajomm is in mourning, for the man she lost in the war and for the man she all but lost, who now lies in a coma in a life support chamber, on the very verge of death. Swenna’s one hope is the knowledge that her man in a coma, Jenken, may be in rapport with another version of himself, a Jenken who is on Linguin, alive and well. That connection to life may be enough to save him.

Three versions of Swenna, three versions of Jenken, three different versions of reality, and all three versions of Swenna and Jenken on a collision course with danger.

A contest of wills between Swee and Jenken upon Raja will put the commune in danger to its very existence. It will bring both Swee and Jenken into contact with an alien agent posing as a Rajalan whose true intentions are entirely unknown to them. And a war their counterparts have already experienced and may yet not survive is only now blazing across the galaxy in their reality.

On Linguin Swee has become the target of kidnappers. One of Jenken’s bosses may be behind it. A woman connected to Jenken and Swee has already disappeared from the compound where they live. And Jenken must undertake a dangerous mission into gang territory to try to find her.

And a light-year off the edge of the Rajalan System refugees are flooding the remote space station where Swenna watches over the comatose Jenken. Radiation is spewing across the Rajalan System. And a deranged dirty operations specialist who has already attacked Swenna once has arrived upon the station with the refugees.

Only by working together across the boundaries of reality will Swenna and Jenken have a chance to save their shared possibilities.