Helen of Eden
Helen of Eden
Tamas M. Varhegyi
A weary passenger, tired after completing a critical assignment which seemed like was going on for millennia, walked toward his first class seat on a transatlantic flight. He reflected on the unfairness of the throw of the dice which might randomly pair him with an annoying companion of unknown gender, age, interests, temperament and of course looks :
“An oversized, restless, talkative busybody of either sex would make this a long flight
with little opportunity for rest or reflection.”
As he approached his seat, he stole a glance of the passenger already occupying the window seat adjacent to his. First impressions are everything. “Gender, female…it is his lucky day” – he thought somewhat relieved. “Correction”, he added silently, – “a very obvious female.” A lingering but respectful second look rendered the final visual verdict : “A gloriously feminine creature with a body second to none and with a stunning face to match.”
His knees buckled ever so slightly, his heart pounded as he happily uttered a confident greeting while silently prayed : “Let her response be worthy of the vision before me.”
She delivered on his secret wish without fail. A voice – more like a short symphony – floated toward him, intended not only for his ears but all his senses. It enveloped him and penetrated his soul. He briefly wondered about the ancient tale of the sirens tempting sailors
to rush toward danger. Somewhat sheepishly he conceded, that her lovely voice would have drawn him anywhere she commanded him to go.
While he reached up to stow his carry-on luggage, she ventured a quick glance of her own as well. She liked what she saw; he was neither overweight, nor muscle-bound. His face revealed a happy mixture of calm, intelligence and serenity. Within seconds her estimate became a focused conviction and she revised it silently : ”A vastly improbable gift of nature : unshakeable confidence, superior intelligence and irresistible masculinity in perfect harmony.”
A colorful shirt and light slacks only partially covered his exquisite body on which it seemed like any outfit would find a home. She allowed a quick, silent one-liner altogether inappropriate but accurate : “Come to think of it even myself would be a good fit on him.”
She blushed, while scolding herself for going off the rail so quickly and promised to control her impulses from that moment forward. That, as she was soon to find out,
would prove to be an impossible task.
He settled down and struck up a conversation as if he had known her for a long time.
The quiet, unassuming confidence unnerved her. Most men, after sizing her up, knew only too well that they were hopelessly outclassed and quickly retreated, unable to think or speak coherently in her presence. Not this stranger…with a hint of panic she wondered what his secret was.
For a while they exchanged pleasantries until he reckoned that he could risk a more intimate line of conversation. Pulling out a thin black book from its folder, he offered his travelling companion to share its secrets. She – quite intelligent and unattached – was briefly taken aback and considered brushing him aside. But the flight has barely started and she did not relish to be sitting stone-faced next to this improbably handsome and strangely confident, although somewhat eccentric man… a puzzling contradiction she feared might keep her
occupied for the rest of the flight.
She agreed to pay attention, to which he responded with the most grateful and satisfied smile she has ever seen on a human face. As he was bouncing his grin off of her she counted her blessing that she was sitting down, otherwise – as she was certain – her legs would have not supported her for long. An intoxicating cavalcade of almost invisible twitches, tingles and flashes marched through her body.
Her throat parched, she reached for her glass, hoping that its contents would steady her nerves as well. As she sipped her drink she glanced at him and realized instantly that steadying her nerves were not in the cards as long as he was sitting inches from her. He slowly unfolded the object of his boasting, but his face was no longer tentative as if it belonged to a hesitating and somewhat clumsy office worker. He was bent on conquest, trying to impress the most attractive, perfectly shaped and groomed woman he has ever seen on this planet.
She finally glanced at the open book, dreading the moment when she expected he would try to entertain her with pitiful tales of past conquests of woman most likely inferior to her.
She sighed with relief. The book contained no list of names, addresses or phone numbers nor did it betray evidence of some infantile date-rating shorthand system. The pages she saw was made of no ordinary paper but belonged to some kind of electronic book simulating a window into a high quality three dimensional virtual reality world.
As he spoke, his words brought the book alive. Images of creatures, advanced to the foreground, paused then faded away. She noticed that his voice flawlessly controlled the device. She was no stranger to advanced technologies so she took this bit of magic in stride, only to realize to her surprise that his voice also directed another, far more complex machinery,
her own mind, her body and her rather unsteady emotions. Spellbound, she let him go on, wishing that his fascinating demonstration would never end.
Then, without warning, he asked the strangest and wholly unexpected question, wanting to know whether she was taught evolution in the schools – and if yes – did she believe in it. He immediately regretted his folly and wished that he could have run after the words and catch them before they reached her. He silently berated himself : “Who in his right mind would lead off a casual conversation with a lame question like that?” But he needed not to worry.
As she replied in the affirmative for the first part but with a firm denial to the second, he slowly realized, with an odd mixture of surprise and pride, that for some strange reason, in her presence he can be himself without reservations. He continued :
“I attended a different institution which subjected me to extensive training conducted by first rate Intelligent Design advocates. “Homeschooling on steroids we used to joke.”
She nodded silently to indicate that she was aware of the term and its pariah status in the educational and scientific community. Then she ventured a comment :
“ You look like a very intelligent, rational, and independent person. Does your line of work demand that you believe or at least pretend to believe in evolution? If yes, did you ever consider switching to a top notch scientific research team on the forefront of the unfolding Intelligent Design revolution?”
His jaw dropped for a moment. Soon a glorious mental confusion induced by the mixture of rising euphoria and a tinge of fear set in. This was no ordinary pretty face sitting next to him. He resolved to be even more careful in every way possible. His words barely hid his apprehension. “Pray tell me just where did that very insightful suggestion come from?” Receiving only a gentle shrug of her shoulders and an enigmatic smile, he capitulated.
Letting his guard down he confessed: “As I am growing fond of you with every second ticking by, I will level with you. I did join just such a research team a very long time ago. “
His expression changed, with an impossible mix of pride and happiness evident as he continued :
“After looking at those pictures I shared with you, perhaps you are convinced that I am not a collector of meaningless one-night stands – and you are right. In this black book I hold in my hands, are the detailed descriptions of the countless exquisite creatures this planet shelters and nurtures.
You see, I am a galactic DNA design engineer and librarian, writing and safeguarding software whose function is to describe the design and fabrication details of living creatures down to the last cell, including every protein and molecular machine within each cell. Once verified and approved, we hand the blueprints to our cloning teams, who soon bring the creatures to life – which up until then existed only on paper or in computer storage. They perform extensive testing and let us know whether we did or did not design them right. Usually, after some minor changes, the species obtain final approval and are released into their target ecosystems. Just like on Noah’s Ark, two specimen, one male, one female.
Yes, I am one of those intelligent designers the Darwinists rejected as either impossible – or worse – as those who would produce creatures inferior even to random, blind and unguided natural selection. I, and my team were responsible for populating the Northern Hemisphere of this planet. We have been working on it for the past eleven thousand years.”
With a self-satisfied grin he teased her : “So what do you say, did we do a good job so far?” He expected utter surprise, disbelief and perhaps indignation accusing him of spinning such a tall tale. None of that came, which slowly sent chills down his spine.
His brain was working overtime. “Something is way out of kilter here, could it be a possible security breach? I better find out what is going on and do it soon.” – went the silent conversation with himself.
He did not have to wait too long to solve the riddle. Her response started not with words but with a gesture. As she slowly put her perfectly designed hands on his arm, their minds touched for an instant in complete agreement. They realized that life for them would never be the same and that for some divine reason they will lead a charmed existence far into the future, rolling past endless horizons.
She leaned closer, nearly burying his face in the canopy of her lush hair. Her lips touched
his ear as she whispered these impossible words : “I congratulate you and your team …
and now let me show you my Pink Book ! We used it to populate the southern half.”
Above, invisible, a very ancient being observed them, fighting back tears for things buried in the misty past, for a hopelessly long chain of regrets; projects never finished, romances missed that could have been. Finally, it pulled itself together and whispered silently :
“Usually I do not approve of on-the-job romances, but these two were my hardest working and most successful designers, so I make an exception. Between them, almost single-handedly, they created a world teeming with life so rich, so unpredictable and so spectacular that it gave me a new lease on life and the strength to go on every time I witness the miracles they brought forth. They deserve to enter into the most fitting union my creation has ever seen.
I give my blessing.
But it is in my nature – maybe even my destiny – to meddle a bit, and I can’t resist now either. These two are mighty proud of their respective designs. They almost regard them as their own offspring and rightly so. Well, I feel the same way about them. Over the eons I learned a thing or two about unusual, exquisite creations.
And now I have altered their reproductive machinery to give forth the best I could have ever designed. I can’t wait to see the wonder on their faces when they greet their first joint project.
This happy occasion calls for a matching gift. I have a world prepared for them.
Adam and Eve welcome to my true Paradise, without serpents and without challenges
to trip you up. Design away my children! I know you will make the best of it.”
Tamas Varhegyi © 2011-2020 Monroe, North Carolina, United States
Author’s comments :
Those of you who live in a real world with its many challenges and struggles – which frequently end in disappointments, disasters or annihilation – will perhaps find this story unbearably optimistic, uneventful and over-the-top romantic.
You are right, the shoe fits and for me it is a perfect fit. I wanted to write a galactic fairy tale, uncomplicated, kind and somewhat steamy at least in the minds of the two main characters. The surprising ending for sure went over the top you might say.
Indeed it did. I simply could not find a single plausible scenario which would be a fitting reward for two top-notch, planet-forming design-engineers who fell for each other the moment they met. That is where the designer God helped me out.
A new start bequeathed to two supremely deserving humans was a way to put away all the horrific trials and tribulation of our race bleeding from thousands upon thousands of wounds which might never heal.
The ending is a new start… a second chance for the Garden of Eden, this time a true one,
gifted to two aliens who deserved it better than anyone else.