While we rode to whatever destination she had in mind she seemed to go inward after a tap on a small screen built into a wristband. She nodded, eyes out of focus.
The aircar dipped and swung to the right, then rose again. I studied what was outside and saw we’d entered traffic. Hundreds of matching vehicles although, all different colors and designs moved in many directions. We went straight up.
I must’ve dozed. I felt a jarring stop, opened my eyes and stared at the woman. She removed her harness and stood. The aircar was stationary but had not landed.
“Come here,” she said.
I did and when I looked to where she pointed I heard myself gasp my surprise.
“Who built this?” I asked awed and astonished, and pointed to what I knew was the edge of a ring world. The science to construct one was known to scientists for a couple centuries, but the application was impossible since using every planet, moon, and asteroid in a galaxy was necessary for construction. Then, if that proved successful centuries more would be needed to terra-form the inner surface, the surface facing the sun at its center.
“We do not know. But every time portal accessible on planet earth leads here. They are stories of people finding portals they could use to return to earth, but it is assumed they are stories only.”
“And Attrea meant for me to be here?”
“Attrea is assigned as a temporal guide. She selects and after spending time and research determines who might be um, helpful here.”
I walked to the opposite side of the aircar and stared into the universe.
“So her, feeling for me were fake?” I asked.
“Attrea does not, or is not to get emotionally attached to a traveler.”
“Ah, I’m a traveler.” She had not answered my question directly so I consider that Attrea had not faked her feelings for me. If she had, then she was a hell of an actor.
“Yes and now you belong to this world.”
“How large is the ring?”
She shook her head. “Impossible to say. It is at least large enough to circle an entire galaxy.”
“Good god. So no one knows who or what is living say on the point directly opposite this one?”
“No and I often wonder if that isn’t best.”
“Yeah, they might be the ring makers.”
“No, we know the ring makers.”
I tilted my head as I asked, “How do you know?”
“They left records etched into thousands of platinum disks.” She seemed to hesitate and I wondered if she was listening to instruction. Then she nodded. “Humans built the ring.”