Part III. Chapter III.

10 Feb

The third novella in the Velvet series, “The Velvet Power”, was received with joyous acclaim by the growing ranks of fans, most of whom were now organized in a widespread, united movement. Meetings were constantly held at which the author, Endo Valino, was introduced to endless applause and briefly spoke to excited audiences. One such gathering occurred in a music hall inside the Shank District. Another was at a school gymnasium in the Canthus Zone, a third at a museum of Horean folk art on classy Pike Boulevard. These events followed each other without interruption in scores of phyles of populous Gath. The schedule of Endo was an expanding, unending one. He enjoyed little rest. At each assembly of readers, the same points were presented by the lank young man. His impression on the fans making up each audience was deep and lasting. They became fervent believers in Velvet. Crowds of adherents congregated and surrounded Endo, causing him to delay his eventual exit for hours. His influence over them resembled mystical enchantment. He became charismatic. The rhapsodic hope that rose around him placed the supposed author in a mood for personal soul-searching. Was he right in doing these things under the direction of Tado Foleg? How was he to interpret the unforeseeable receptions engulfing him every day? How much of what he said and did was ethically fraudulent? the pretender asked himself. Had he been mislead, or was this a case of self-corruption? he debated with himself. The work of forming new sections of the general association of clubs fell to Tado. He acted as chief organizer and manager. The little editor acted with speed and efficiency, recording names and addresses of thousands. He spent ever more time running the Velvet World Association. It became clear to both Endo and Tado that the coming fourth volume of the series was going to have to be the responsibility of the younger man, pretending to be the psychic apprentice of the older one. Endo had already received the beginning of the new novella while in telepathic trance finishing the reception of the third book. How were his new psychographic labors going to work out? worried the new writer with increasing alarm. Velvet was now becoming his psychic responsibility. Did Tado intend to dominate what was done under his heavy authority? Problems ahead grew increasingly visible to the gifted telepath about to reveal his high order of talent. He sat down in front of the dactylograph determined  to prove himself by a faithfully accurate recording of the fourth novella, about to stream into his brain from a distant source elsewhere in time. Endo typed away busily for a considerable while, but stopped when he noticed Tado watching him fixedly from the entrance to the kitchen. “What are you looking at so intently?” he questioned the editor. Tado turned his eyes away. “I wanted to ask you about the new work and its contents, that’s all.” “Well, what is so important for you to know, may I inquire?” countered Endo. His face had turned an unusual red, as if suffering some vague internal pressure that was causing pain. “I believe you indicated that the prime protagonist is no longer Raxis Absum,” said Tado. “Yes, that is correct. The main character is now his grandson. A lot of time has gone by. Raxis is no longer there. The technological environment has changed. The theme of this novella is psychic transmission across the void of space, from one planet to another. It is the story of how that is brought about. That is its core.” “But what you are describing is a scientific and logical impossibility,” declared Tado. “Everyone would see it as absurd. Such feats cannot be achieved across the vacuum of space. To claim them would be insane.” Endo argued back with angry emotion. “I don’t understand why you use such insulting words about aspects of Velvet. Can you be doubting the truth of what I’m receiving by psychography?” “Of course not,” fired back Tado. “How do you dare throw such an accusation at me!” The pair exchanged fiery glares for a moment. They had unwittingly become antagonists. Both psychographists realized they had crossed a bridge that was now irreparably broken. All at once, Tado headed for the entrance to the flat, his steps fast and forceful. After opening the door, he stopped and looked back at Endo at the dactylograph. “Go on and finish the novella,” he commanded. “Then, we will judge how well you have done.” When Tado was gone, Endo went back to typing with his emotions boiling. He continued on for several minutes in a transporting trance, till all of a sudden an internal voice commanded him to stop. A realization had struck him of why his receptions were so different from those of the editor. The senior psychographer believed that his texts originated sometime in the past, that they traveled forward to the present from then. Endo now realized that he knew better. His mind had long believed that the source of unique sendings was the aftertime of the future. But only he had this consciousness, no one else in the entire profession. Tado had no suspicion of the future source of the Velvet novellae. Even if told, he would have denied that truth. No, the little man trusted that the books stemmed from the past. That is the real source of this tension between us, Endo told himself. That is the reason for his inexplicable hostility and his angry resentment. He senses that I have a different orientation from his, a different understanding and direction. Tado believes he copys from the past, whereas I am facing forward to see Velvet. How can we work together or understand each other? Endo turned back to his manuscript and began typing again. Once I complete this fourth volume, I must leave these premises and find myself a different road to follow. I cannot go on as now, under the authority of someone like Tado Foleg.

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