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Ronald W. Hull

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The Kaleidoscope Effect
by Ronald W. Hull   

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Publisher: ISBN-10:  1931297290 Type: 


Copyright:  Aug 14, 2000

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A historical, science fiction novel describing in realistic terms the nature of 'first contact' with extraterrestrial intelligence.

What if a highly advanced extraterrestrial race had been watching Earth, monitoring mankind's development since first "listening in"? What if their mission was not to destroy humankind, but to save it from itself? Herein lies the theme of The Kaleidoscope Effect, a historical science-fiction novel that follows the course of man from hunter and gatherer to contact with extraterrestrial beings. In the year 3362 B.C., a hunter in the Austrian Alps meets an icy death. In the year 703 B.C., an extraterrestrial being embarks on a centuries-long mission. And in the year 1971 A.D., a young scientist begins a job that will change his life. These three events are inexorably linked, and their consequences will change the world forever. Albert Repaul, an American scientist who has devoted his life to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, has a premonition of the coming change. But not even Repaul can foresee whether it will come in time for a species that is increasingly jeopardizing its world. As mankind's rapid technological advancement begins to threaten all life on Earth, both Repaul and his extraterrestrial counterpart, Dom, know that time is limited and that what will become known as the, "Relief," must come soon.  

The Kaleidoscope Effect is short novel that spans 6000 years to flesh out an
extraordinary phenomenon in the few short moments of first contact. From
the Iceman of the Alps to our journey to the stars, stay spellbound.
The Kaleidoscope Effect
Buy The Complete Version of This Book at
The Kaleidoscope Effect
Copyright © 2000, Second Edition, 2008 Ronald W. Hull
ISBN 978-1-60145-627-4
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or
otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.
Printed in the United States of America.
The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any
similarity to real persons, living or dead, is purely
coincidental and not intended by the author., Inc.
Ronald W. Hull
Houston, Texas USA
Ron’s Place:
Cover image of Earth and Moon courtesy NASA
The Kaleidoscope Effect
First Contact
A Novel
Ronald W. Hull
Table of Contents
Preface........................................................................... ix
Chapter 1: Copper Age Hunter ...................................... 1
Chapter 2: A Promising Planet..................................... 12
Chapter 3: First Contact ............................................... 16
Chapter 4: Opposites Attract........................................ 22
Chapter 5: A Glimmer of Doubt .................................. 38
Chapter 6: Turning Point.............................................. 48
Chapter 7: A Grim View.............................................. 57
Chapter 8: The Iceman................................................. 60
Chapter 9: The Genetic Connection............................. 64
Chapter 10: The Relief................................................. 72
Chapter 11: Reformation.............................................. 81
Chapter 12: The Return................................................ 90
About the Author ......................................................... 97
Chapter 1
Copper Age Hunter
The Alps: 3362 BC
lbere was old. Older than anyone he knew. He would
carve a 38th notch in his life tree when he reached the
river in the spring. When he was a small boy his
father had shown it to him, marking the spot where he was
born. His mother was young and strong. Being born when
food was abundant again, after such a hard winter, ensured
that he would survive. Albere more than survived his birth,
he thrived. When Albere was seven notches, his father had
shown him how to carve the notches with a flint blade, and
Albere had done it himself every spring since then. He was
always drawn back there. It was a source of life for him.
Now Albere felt his age and the arrowhead in his back. His
muscles ached more and more with every step. The fever
grew and blurred his mind. Snow had been falling since early
afternoon. Albere trudged on into it. It was too late to head
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back and too dangerous. Before dusk, he would make it to
one of the many shelters he knew on the mountain.
The years had taught Albere well. He was
provisioned with dried fruit of sloe and nuts. He carried all
his tools with him. He had a long bow of yew, arrows made
straight from the wood of the wayfaring tree, a dagger with
ash handle, a rabbit skin bag for water--chewed soft by the
women--fire making flints, moss tinder, bone hooks for
fishing, and various strings and cords woven from skin, hair,
and reeds. His medicine bag contained medicines and the hair
of his family. Most importantly, his copper ax, which was
mounted on a yew handle, had been built with his own hands
with the help of the people who lived close to the fiery river.
And his great coat, sewn of many skins, lined with grass that
had the fur turned in to keep him warm. His head was topped
with a bearskin cap. In his white birch pack, nestled in wet
leaves, he carried firewood and the morning fire's embers.
Albere traveled alone.
Albere had a lot of time to think on the mountain. He
drifted often into thought at times like this to ease the pain of
his wound and aching muscles. He had many memories to
think about. He wondered why life was so cruel. Why
everyone he ever cared about was dead, and why he was still
alive. What was the purpose in it? This life? The world was
beautiful. Filled with sights and sounds and smells for youth
to enjoy. But it was dangerous too; a place of darkness and
cold, hunger and thirst and men so cruel they would kill you
for anything you had. That was why he was alone and
In Albere's youth, he and his extended family had
traveled from the valley of the sunny slopes where they spent
the winter to the wooded highlands in the spring--a journey of
twenty suns walking in the tradition of the elders. The ritual
The Kaleidoscope Effect
afforded the family ample game and fish and the berries,
roots and nuts to survive in their time honored way. Albere
had spent his younger years with the women, gathering and
preparing food and medicine, and with the elders, where he
had learned the old ways. Each wood had a purpose and
could be found and carved to that purpose. Every part of
every animal could be used. Blood, fat, intestines, meat, bone,
skin, scales, feathers and hair were eaten, made into
medicines, or used as tools.
In the family, Albere prospered. He grew strong
faster than the other children and amazed the elders with his
mastery of the old ways. But, the urge to hunt in him was
strong, so he led the other children in hunting games until he,
too, was allowed to hunt with his father and the other men.
Albere remembered seeing his first great bear killed when he
was just eight notches. He remembered watching as the men
used an array of spears to kill it in its den while it slept. The
bear was fat and provided food for many cold suns. The two
babies inside were seen as a good omen by the elders and
were sacrificed to the gods. The elders told of many bears
like this, but they were few now. By the time Albere was
fifteen notches, he was the best hunter. With bow or spear,
Albere’s eye was true, and he could bring down a deer with a
single arrow. With the others, he caught fish, snared birds and
small animals, ran down the wild pig and challenged the great
bear. The elders prized bear claws and teeth, and Albere
became the one to find bears for the kill.
The family traded with other families. Albere joined
his father on journeys of many suns to trade. Most prized was
the shiny stone of pure color like the autumn leaves. When
rubbed, Albere could see his face in it, like on the surface of
calm water. But the stone would turn dull and green if it
weren't rubbed. Albere rubbed his ax daily so that it shone
Ronald W. Hull
like the sun it reflected. The elders said the stone was magic.
He wondered about that and how it could be. With all of his
knowledge of the world around him, Albere had never seen
anything like the stone. Still, he did not believe it was magic.
He knew the secret of the people by the fiery river.
It was colder now, and the wind was picking up. His
world was obscured by white, blinding snow and his fever.
Still, Albere pushed on. He knew the way so well, he could
follow it without seeing. The agony between his shoulder
blades and in his joints was relentless. He had to stop every
few steps, leaning into the wind to recover his strength. This
always happened to him on the high mountains, but as he
grew older it became more pronounced. All his tattoos, meant
to ease the pain, failed him now. Albere blocked it out with
thoughts of her.
Albere remembered the first time he saw her. In the
valley where the grapes grew, there was a family with hair as
white as snow and eyes of piercing blue. They had a secret
for making the grapes into a powerful potion that made you
lose your senses when you drank it. Albere liked the potion's
sour taste, but he didn't like how it made him act foolish and
get sleepy. Always on their guard on the trading journeys, he
and his father couldn't afford to lose their senses, or someone
would rob them. The white haired people were happy and
prosperous because they could trade their potion for the
things they needed.
Nona had been playing with the other children. Nona
stood out because she seemed to be the happiest and
loudest—and, because she was so beautiful. It was summer
and hot, even at night. Like the other children, Nona wore
only a doeskin loincloth. Her fair skin was a golden brown
from the sun, except for her lips, turned pink from the same
sun, and the tips of her budding breasts, so pink against her
The Kaleidoscope Effect
brownness. Albere was excited by the sound and sight of her,
like when he waited for a magnificent animal to come within
kill range. But this was different. He felt a swelling in his
loincloth that he had never felt before. Albere had seen the
other men with it and had observed them in sex with the
women, but he had not experienced it himself, before. Albere
knew it was a sign that he was no longer a child, but he did
not want his father and the others to see. That first hot night
with the white haired people, he could not sleep. He dreamed
of Nona and his peeing tool, once again, grew large and
painful. Albere had to loosen his loincloth to free it. He kept
thinking of her laughing and playing. Albere liked his sisters
and admired the beauty and manner of some of the women in
his family, and those he had seen on his journeys, but Nona
was different. Albere wanted to make her his mate.
This fact was not lost on the elders of the white hairs.
The old women, with flat breasts, scraggly, gray white hair,
deeply wrinkled and toothless from chewing skins, knew
right away. Before long, so did his father. For a prize copper
stone and a copper knife, his father traded with the elders for
the girl. For the next few suns, Albere was allowed to take
her with him on hunts. They fished on the river and bathed
with each other. They were allowed to sleep together, apart
from the others.
Their languages were so similar, it was easy to talk.
Albere soon learned that Nona had noticed him too, the first
day he arrived, and that her chest had pounded with
excitement at what she perceived as a strange but most
handsome hunter. Nona admitted that she had, in her own
way, tried to get his attention, so that Albere would notice
her. Nona was amused at how his peeing tool got big in her
presence. The first hot night Albere and Nona slept together;
Ronald W. Hull
she began to play with it. Albere still remembered how soft
Nona was to his touch.
After the moon changed, they had to leave. It was
hard for Nona to leave the only family she'd ever known. For
two suns, Nona cried and wouldn't eat. Finally, she helped
Albere with his cooking fires, and settled into the routine of
the journey. After two moons, they arrived in Albere’s valley.
The elders there were pleased and held a great celebration.
They saw Nona as a strong addition to the family. The young
hunters without mates were envious of Albere's find. But they
knew not to challenge him for her. His sisters and the
younger women were both envious and enamored by her
beauty. Nona was not only beautiful, but also wise in the
ways of family living and soon became a valued member.
Still, she often longed to see her own family again. Albere
promised to take her to them again on a trading journey. The
fates ruled that that was not to happen.
Albere knew the rocky outcropping was just ahead,
further up the mountain. It was exposed, but would block the
north wind enough to allow him the burrow into the snow and
escape the savage cold the wind brought with it. Maybe he
could make a fire? With each step, Albere sank knee deep in
soft, new snow, and more was coming down all the time. His
pain was unbearable. Albere summoned strength deep within
him, the strength of his youth, to overcome the pain and cold
and move on. If he could only just move forward, he could
make it.
Nona was fertile, and bore him five children. The
first one came too soon, and was born dead. The elders cast
their spells and incantations, but to no avail. Albere did not
know if it was a boy or a girl. The second was a son, born in
the spring like Albere had been, and strong. Jan had the white
hair and bright blue eyes of his mother, but the strength and
The Kaleidoscope Effect
savvy of his father. Albere looked to him to carry on the
rituals of the elders for the family. Another boy was born
dead, and a girl, born in winter, caught the fever and died in
Nona's arms while only four cold suns old. Nila, the
youngest, was also born in winter, but showed the strength to
live that reminded Albere of her mother, Nona. Life was hard.
The same fever that took his first daughter also took his
mother and half the family. The medicine of the elders did
nothing as Albere helplessly watched the fever kill everyone
sick around him. His father was never the same. By nineteen
notches, Albere had become leader of the family. He enjoyed
evenings by the fire, watching Nona play with the braids in
Nila's hair, and Jan playing hunting games at the edge of the
It was a good hunt. After two suns of stalking, they
had run down and killed two pigs. The five of them were
joyous as they carried the heavy animals back to the family.
Before they got there, Albere could smell smoke and the
stench of death. First, he found Nona, her head cut off and her
body mutilated with knives and spears, and then Jan, with his
little head bashed in and one arm cut off. Albere’s father, no
longer able to hunt, had stayed behind and fought to his
death, too, a spear broke off in his back as he lay face down.
The bodies of two of the invaders, heavily armed and
protected by deerskin, but emaciated men, lay by him. Thals--
the name given to outcast males who banded together and
raided families for food and items they could trade. No one
survived the attack. All of the copper his father had traded for
was gone. Everything else was burned. They hung the two
invaders from the trees so that the ravens would pluck their
eyes out. Albere gathered all the sacred potions he could find
in the destruction. After incantations were said and he had
gathered locks of hair from Nona and Jan, they burned the
Ronald W. Hull
dead together in a funeral pyre so that wild animals wouldn't
violate their bones. A great rage rose up in Albere. He
challenged the others to help him take revenge for their loss.
They followed him to a man. They ate the pigs to find
strength for the fight, and then, with Albere in the lead, they
set off.
It wasn't hard to follow the track of the Thals. They
left a path of destruction and death. After five suns walking,
Albere and his hunters caught up. They waited until the sun
was long in the trees, and the Thals were drunk from the
grape potion they'd stolen a sun's walk away. The Thals were
asleep. It was only then that they struck. Albere carefully
slipped up to a large man with red hair, his mouth open and
snoring and slit his throat with a flint knife from ear-to-ear.
The man woke up wide-eyed, and tried to rise and yell, but
blood shot from his neck like from a bled pig and he only
blubbered as his yell drowned in his own blood. The others
were stirring as his comrades woke them up trying to kill. A
small skinny man laying not a foot's reach away opened his
eyes and started to get up. Albere thrust his copper tipped
spear with both hands into the man's neck just above his
deerskin shirt. The spearhead glanced off the man's
collarbone and stunned him for a moment. It was just enough
time for Albere to jerk the spear from the ground where it
stopped and a ram it squarely into the man's midsection,
through his deerskin shirt, skin and bone and guts, skewering
him to the ground while dark red blood welled up from his
wound. The skinny man, still full of life, squealed and
struggled to free himself from this outrageous bond, while
Albere took his flint knife to the guy's neck, severing the
carotid artery without near as much blood as the big one.
There were grunts and cries of pain and yelling all
around--the din of war. But Albere did not hear it. The
The Kaleidoscope Effect
adrenaline in his bloodstream was too strong. Albere felt a
sharp pain in his back and spun around with his flint knife in
his right hand. The blade caught his attacker in the left arm
and cut a deep slice of muscle. The man, another big one,
recoiled in pain, and, having lost his spear in Albere's back
was defenseless. As he backed up and Albere threatened
with his knife, his balance weak from the heavy spear in his
back, Seth hit the man hard in the back of the head with his
copper ax and brought the man down so that Albere could
slit his throat too. Seth quickly pulled the spear from Albere's
back and they both joined in the fight to the death. It was
close now, man-to-man, cutting and stabbing until blades
broke off in bone and Albere found himself strangling a man
who was also trying to strangle him. Fortunately, Albere
won. But, exhausted and bleeding, he crawled away. He
fell asleep. When Albere awoke, the yelling had finally
stopped and all that could be heard were the moans of the
wounded dying.
All of the hunters, Seth and the rest of his family,
were dead or dying. Albere rose to his feet in pain, found a
bloody spear, and made sure that all the Thals were dead, too.
Dragging himself off to the woods, where Albere had left
the medicines in his bag with his long bow in the woods
before the battle, Albere treated his wounds. Somehow, he
managed to pull his dead companions together into a funeral
pyre. It took him two suns, but Albere said the incantations
and burned them. The rest, Albere left to the wolves and
vultures, circling and getting bolder as he struggled to send
the last of his family to the afterlife. Albere could hear the
wolves snapping and growling over the dead as he dragged
himself up, over the ridge to the next valley beyond.
With his numb hands, Albere could feel the bare rock
of the overhang only from his elbows. He couldn't feel
Ronald W. Hull
anything below his knees in his grass filled doeskin boots. It
was dark now, Albere couldn't remember how long, as he'd
willed himself to that spot. The wind was howling and the
snow had already filled the place he'd hoped to shelter in.
Albere pushed and burrowed, and managed to get as much
out of the wind as he could, and the snow came in over him in
layers, gradually covering him up.
The embers in his basket were probably out. Even
with his flints and tinder, he couldn't make a fire. Albere just
sat there, rubbing his ax blade with his numb right hand and
holding the bag with his family's hair with his left, listening
to the wind. No feeling was a good feeling. As the snow filled
in around him, Albere felt warm. On those warm nights,
Albere would lay on some ridge or high ground and dream of
Nona, so long dead. The sky would be heavy with light, a
multitude of points of light that closed the sky down on him
like overhanging trees or the roof of a cave. In those times
Albere imagined that each one was a spirit of those who had
died, countless in their number. Albere loved this land with
its incredible beauty and peace. But why, too, the cruelty and
harshness? The elders with their rituals, incantations, tattoos
and medicines couldn't cure what was wrong with the world.
And then, there was this one time, as he crossed a frozen lake
in the middle of the night trying to reach the safety of shore,
when Albere stopped, looked up, and realized that he was
utterly alone. This great hunter, warrior, and medicine man
was merely a snowflake compared to the vastness before him.
Albere knew there was something beyond this cruel life. He
just didn't know what it was.
Albere remembered the secret of the shiny copper
stone. Though he traded with many families, and was
welcome in the white haired family of his Nona, the sight of
children playing brought back dark thoughts. Albere
The Kaleidoscope Effect
preferred to live alone. He traveled the seasons in the ways of
his ancestors and became known for his skills in medicine
and potions.
Seeking the secret of the shining stone, Albere lived
for a while with the people by the fiery river. His legend had
preceded him, so they welcomed him as a great warrior and
medicine man. After Albere treated their open sores with a
tree bark and moss potion he'd learned from the elders, they
let him see the secret. When green stones that were common
in the area were heated on special fires that were very hot, the
shiny copper melted and flowed from the stone. It could then
be pounded with hard stones into many shapes. There were
no elders in the fiery river family. The women lived to an old
age and died after losing their teeth. The men who melted the
copper died at an early age when they still had their teeth and
dark hair. Before they died, they would lose their senses, and
complain of great pain in their hands and feet. Albere tried
his medicines on some of the sufferers to no avail. Legend
said that early death was the price they paid for knowing the
secret of making copper. Albere wondered if he would suffer
the same fate for knowing it?
When Albere polished his ax with a rough leaf that
brought out the metal's luster, he marveled at the metal's
strange properties. How it reflected his image. How it could
be pounded very thin, or into many shapes. How it held a
smooth, sharp edge for cutting. Even how it curved. Albere
wondered how many other properties it had. Was it a bridge
to a life without pain and suffering? Why had they done this?
Why had they shot him in the back before he could escape
to higher altitude and the storm? Albere didn't know and he
wouldn't find out. He suffered his old wounds no more.
Albere was entombed in the snow.
Chapter 3
First Contact
Universal Explorer in the Milky Way Galaxy: 1939 AD,
Earth Time
om was content with his mission. As the rotations
passed, his resolve grew stronger. There was no
greater purpose for existence than the relief of
intelligent beings. Before his relief, he had been driven by
another purpose—the perpetuation of his species. But that
seemed far away now. He still enjoyed the pleasurable parts
of it, though. Explorer had pierced this average galaxy for
some time now. The Senses activity was much more intense
than it had been in deep space. In that forbidding place, the
Senses had provided the Collective with a constant stream of
simulated stimulus to overcome the eternal void of a place
where even hydrogen atoms were parsecs apart and time
dragged like an anchor on the soul. Hibernation was always
an option, but Don had not taken it, always hopeful that the
The Kaleidoscope Effect
Senses would find something new about their destination that
he didn't want to miss by sleeping through it.
The Collective was small, numbering 956,677,
allowing Dom to know everyone without overburdening his
enhanced brain cells. He had ample time to get to know every
one of them. Foremost was Seala, his mate before their relief.
The primordial drive that was in them before the relief was
still strong, only now it was redirected into a self-renewal
force so powerful that Dom and Seala felt more alive with
each rotation. There was no need to procreate. Their number
had not changed since the launching. Without shame, but
with high purpose, they met in secret rooms of their own
Seala was more beautiful than when he first saw her,
coming out of the water thousands of cycles ago, but, for all
her renewal, she remained unique and true to herself.
Evolution proved to be a great diviner of beauty, and Seala
was no exception. It was hard to improve on perfection.
In an atmosphere, they could still communicate by
sound waves, but they rarely did. It was much more intimate
and direct to communicate by thoughts. "Seala, what would
you like to do?" Dom thought.
From a distant part of the Explorer, Seala answered.
"Why don't we take the Tour of the Fourteen Planets? And
then, we could feast by the falling water, and watch Tome
and Kea making Love." Tome and Kea were legendary for
their love making among the Collective. Although Dom knew
them, he wasn't sure whether they were real or just a figment
of the Universal Intelligence's imagination, provided by the
Senses for their entertainment. Real and imagined had
become part of the journey of many cycles.
They met in the middle. The Senses created the
scene to their liking. Weightless lovemaking was unique, and
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they never tired of it, but sometimes they preferred their
native gravity, the weight of their bodies on each other as
they entwined. Kea was so beautiful and her skin so
transparent, she fairly glowed. Dom never tired of watching
her. "Look at that!" Seala exclaimed as she sipped sweet
nectar, so close by his side that he nearly melted into her
warmness. "Tome's sure is long! ... And I should know,
because I've felt its full length!" Dom laughed.
Although Seala could have used her imagination to
intensity the feeling, Dom knew she was just teasing him.
Teasing always got his blood up. It was part of Seala's style.
What she said was true. While love was monogamous in the
Collective, the primal urge was not. On the Explorer, the
combinations were endless. It was all part of the Universal
Intelligence's way of allowing the primal order of creation to
continue in a nondestructive way while relieving the boredom
of the journey.
"Yes," Dom said, feeling Seala’s hand tighten
around him and that familiar squeeze that he always
responded to, "I have too, and a bird in the hand is worth two
in the bush." His hand was nestled in the softness of Seala’s
pubic hair, petting her like a kitten. Dom was thinking of the
stark beauty of Kea's breasts as they heaved in orgasm. He
was sure Seala could feel his thinking of another one but it
was all part of the ecstasy of their love. A freedom from guilt
that was so refreshing and new that it never grew old. Soon,
deep inside her, Dom abandoned himself to orgasm. Seala
was in orgasm too, as was the Collective.
Seala and Dom, and others in the Collective were
growing more excited with each passing rotation. The galaxy
was alive with activity, and the Senses were filling their
minds with images of stars being born, dying, exploding, and
collapsing. The parade of planets in one, two, three, and four
The Kaleidoscope Effect
star systems was as endless in their variety as in their number.
And, there was life, mostly very primitive, but of great variety
and abundance.
As the Collective traveled through clouds of dense
gas, matter, and energy, they could feel the gravitational pull
and critical mass that coalesced the gases into a star or group
of stars, matter flung off or in between also coalesced into
planets trapped in the superior gravitational pull of the stars,
fired by their own fusion when they reached critical mass.
Stars were as varied as their composition and mass, but they
invariably radiated heat, light, and other radiation to the
colder bodies around them. Life began as a parasite on these
cold bodies, feeding off the radiant warmth of nearby star or
internal heat from molten core. Given enough time and
stability, life became intelligent, intelligent life developed
technology, and intelligence with technology, always sought
to leave the planet of its birth.
The Senses drew Dom and Seala close to these
evolving scenarios. Even the imagination of the Universal
Intelligence could not prepare them for the beauty and
emotion they felt in this fertile place. While the Explorer
skirted stars at a safe distance, the Senses drew on their
systems and fed it to the visual cortex of the Collective. Dom
and Seala found themselves on many a rocky shore, by a
green ocean, sipping nectar in the hazy purple sunset of three
suns, surrounded by thousands of creatures, so docile you
could touch each one. Distance had its advantages. Some
planets were swarming with creatures so violent that fragile
bodies, unprotected like theirs, would be killed in seconds
and devoured in minutes.
Strangely, intelligent life evolved more quickly in
such violent places. Probably, this was true because it took
more intelligence to survive predatory nature. The evolution
Ronald W. Hull
of stars and planets demanded distance. Immense gravity,
radiation, heat, and collisions were most inhospitable to life.
Even the Universal Intelligence could not protect them from
these forces. Red giants, while seductive subjects of study,
expanded so rapidly that there was great danger in getting
close. Exploding stars were more predictable, but impossible
to approach within a parsec. Their gamma bursts could fry the
Explorer and had to be avoided at all cost. The most
dangerous of all were the black holes. The black holes were
stars so dense that not even light could escape them. Like
eddies in the fabric of the galaxy, they drew the surrounding
matter and energy into their blackness like the Explorer
gathered space dust. Even the Universal Intelligence had no
guidelines on how close to get. The Explorer steered a wide
birth of all black holes it encountered.
Dom and Seala were dining, watching the lava flow
create a never ending painting of hot orange on black on the
surface of an emerging planet, when the word came. The
Senses directed it to the Collective as it was received: "Tap,
tap... tap. Tap... tap. Tap... tap, tap. ...."
The tapping was a simple code, easily deciphered by
the Senses: "Mr. Marconi ... stop. Do you read my message ...
stop." A shudder of wonder ran through the Collective,
followed closely by a sigh of discovery. Finally, after so long,
a sign of intelligent life. The celebration lasted for nearly a
cycle, and ended with a mutual orgasm.
From then on, the mission changed. The Senses
continued to provide information on passing stars and planets,
but it paled in comparison to the meager words coming from
the blue planet. Starting with that first simple code, a trickle
of words flowed to the Collective. Each word was savored,
tossed about and analyzed. A disturbing pattern emerged
from the messages. The creatures that sent them were often in
The Kaleidoscope Effect
distress. "May Day, ...May Day!" was picked up often, clearly
a sign of great peril. Too many times, this message was the
last one heard. It was hard, for all he knew of life, for Dom to
think of it ending, especially like that. There were joyous
messages of hope too, like, "Will arrive at 11:00am on
Thursday, ... stop. Love, ... stop. Carl, ... stop."
Most disturbing were the cryptic messages of war.
They were coded, but the simple codes were easily
deciphered by the Senses. It was so sad, listening to
intelligent creatures plotting to kill each other for nothing
other than a small piece of the planet or an idea so primitive
and weak that was clearly ridiculous. Most ridiculous of all
was the fact that, with all their intelligence and knowledge,
the Collective could do nothing about it. Time and space
prevented their swooping down and saving this blue planet
before its inhabitants destroyed themselves. The Universal
Intelligence warned, with many scenarios, how primitive
intelligence was predatory. Predatory behavior rose from the
need for species to survive. The most intelligent species find
ways to survive above all others. When intelligent predators
develop technologies, they begin the endanger themselves. A
common scenario was to make contact with intelligent life,
then rush to the scene, only to find the planet devastated, with
no intelligent life remaining. Dom knew that there was no
time to waste. With the Explorer locked on to this fragile bit
of life on its fragile planet, they could only listen to and
watch the drama unfolding until the Explorer got there.
Chapter 10
The Relief
In the Solar System: Present Day
om could not contain himself. His excitement was
contagious throughout the Collective. The
Explorer had slowed and was closing rapidly on
its destination--the backside of the sub planet called the Moon
of the planet called Earth.
Dom now knew everything about Earth and its
inhabitants, much more than the inhabitants knew themselves.
He was pleased that these warlike people had not annihilated
each other, but had become more peaceful and concerned
about their planet. But there was still great danger in the blue
planet’s burgeoning population, consumption and unbridled
industrialization. Dom was pleased at how well humans had
predicted global warming. He was, however, disturbed by the
lack of understanding of the catastrophic effects of global
warming to come. Or the profound effect that overpopulation
would have on the land and water, with the release of as yet
The Kaleidoscope Effect
unknown poisons and new diseases running rampant without
cure. The people of Earth did not know how close they were
coming to the end. It was though they were riding in a plane,
but oblivious that the plane had been hijacked and was about
to crash. A fiery end with a huge meteor hit was far less
likely than a collapse of the world economy, followed by a
slow, strangling death, with no food, no clean water, and no
pure air to breathe.
The backside of the Moon was chosen because
Earth's inhabitants were so prone to panic when faced with
the unknown. Dom and the Collective wanted to give no
forewarning from which these warlike creatures could mount
some sort of response that would hamper or slow the speed of
the Relief. Parking there, behind the Moon, unseen or sensed,
would allow them to deploy the relief mechanism. It was
simple. Humans were hunters and gatherers. Their brains
were directly connected through the visual cortex to their
eyes. Humans learned almost everything through seeing. The
auditory sense was important too. So the plan was to use the
auditory sense to help bring people into the visual sense. The
Senses had developed a way to reach all six billion
inhabitants of Earth nearly at once.
In the great room, the model of Earth had grown. It
was now a nearly perfect one ten thousandth scale model.
Around Earth, in fixed orbit, were three glowing pearlescent
balls, each one a thousand kilometers in scale diameter.
Placed in geosynchronous orbit, 18,000 miles from the
surface, the Sense Projectors were not very large; they only
appeared that way. However, there was a need for them to be
easily seen from Earth's surface.
The Sense Projectors had been in preparation for
rotations. Within, they contained the knowledge of both the
Collective and Universal Intelligences, and the power of the
Ronald W. Hull
Senses. Fully maneuverable, they contained asteroid dust fuel
and a miniature drive similar to the Explorer for their short
journey to their destinations. The surface of each spherical
Projector was an energy projector that turned off and on from
the Senses inside. For the journey, the surface would be
turned off, giving no visual or other indication of each small
Sense Projector's approach. The Earth's defense, weather, and
astronomical systems were well known and easily thwarted
with Sensor designed nullifying information. The Explorer
had been blocking detection since entering the solar system of
Earth by sending false images and information to the Earth's
observatories and military sensing equipment—the ultimate
stealth approach.
The Sense Projectors would be invisible as they
moved into place. Even the Senses could not control the
spheres from the backside of the Moon or Earth. The three
Sense Projectors had synchronized their Senses so that,
although their journeys would be of different length, all
would arrive at the same time and effect the relief at the same
time, the Earth over.
There was no timetable. Relief would commence
when the Sense Projectors were in position. Time was
imperative. Thousands were dying daily unnecessarily. The
Collective was prepared for its task and executed it
Washington D.C.: A Mid Winter Night
After the flurry of publicity over his connection with
the storied Ice Man, Otzi, Albert had settled into relative
anonymity. He dated some of his fellow faculty members,
and some of the career women that D.C. is known for, but he
could not find one who measured up to his beloved Esther.
The Kaleidoscope Effect
Albert’s semi-continental existence, shuttling from his full
time teaching in D.C. to his dedicated little wilderness, left
little time to establish a relationship.
As was his department's custom, Albert had one
night class. He had arrived home after his 3pm class, checked
his mail, and then his e-mail. Albert paid some bills from his
computer and settled into correcting experiment reports from
Microbiology 301. There were 43 reports from two classes,
so it took him some time. When he finished, it was already
5:15. He flipped on the early news and watched from the
kitchen. He broiled a couple of venison steaks he'd left out to
thaw in the morning, microwaved an Idaho potato, and some
beans he'd harvested from his garden in the UP. Albert stood
at the counter, eating and watching the news; washing it
down with some current wine he'd made the summer before.
Nothing special on the news that evening. Soon it was 6:30
and time to go.
Albert put the papers he'd corrected into his pack,
bundled up against the cold, and headed out into the street.
He loved the six-block walk to the University in any season,
but these winter trips were invigorating. It was 17 degrees
that evening, so he pulled his hood up and wore his fur-lined
gloves. Albert walked quickly. His breath puffing clouds as
he walked. The streets were well lit and white from a recent
snow, but were otherwise virtually deserted.
Albert's night class, Biology 420, was well attended.
The cold and the fact that most of his students had full-time
jobs did not deter them from coming and earning their
degrees part-time. He admired their perseverance. Albert had
gone to school full time, in a different era and culture. By
9:15, the lab had cleared out. He packed his backpack again
and headed out onto the deserted campus. Just Albert and his
thoughts, walking home on a cold city night. He could hear
Ronald W. Hull
each step as the heels of his boots hit the sidewalk. His cell
phone rang in his pack, forcing him to stop the cadence he
was keeping. "Damn!" he thought, "Who could be calling me
now." He enjoyed these solitary walks and rarely talked to
anyone on the cell phone while he was walking. "A good
habit to keep," he told himself.
Albert dropped his pack on a snow bank and pulled
out the phone. An unfamiliar, but very pleasant, female voice
said, "Continue to the intersection with L Street and look left,
you won't be disappointed." Before he could say anything, the
line went dead. That's strange, Albert thought. Well, I'm
going that way anyway. Guess it won't hurt to have a look. As
he started that way again, people were already pouring into
the street.
The Galaxy Explorer on the Back Side of the Moon
Approaching at a fraction of the speed of light, the
Explorer had slipped into the Earth's Solar System without
detection. The Explorer was nearly as big as the Moon, but
hid nicely behind it, the ship’s drive maintaining a constant
five thousand kilometer distance from the Moon's surface,
letting Earth's gravity do the work, locked into the same orbit
as the Moon rotating around the Earth. The Moon's meager
gravity and slow rotation made this holding position easy for
the Senses to maintain. The Explorer would not remain there
long, for its mass added to that of the Moon would have dire
consequences for the Earth, beginning with high tides, and
possibly earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Dom and the others watched as the portal opened
and the three Sense Projectors deployed. It was as though the
Explorer, finally, had given birth. They watched as the
Projectors accelerated around the Moon, and then they
The Kaleidoscope Effect
watched with neutrino penetrators through the mass of the
Moon as the Projectors danced in a simultaneous ballet of
great beauty and anticipation. For the moment, normal
communication was lost. The Projectors were on their own.
Back on Earth
The street was alive with activity. Cars were
stopping and their occupants spilling out, leaving their car
doors open and engines running. People were running,
walking, limping, in wheelchairs, and even being carried on
stretchers from a nearby hospital. This strange parade was in
various states of dress, but most had thrown on heavy coats
against the night cold but left the doors to their houses and
apartments open. The exhaust from the stopped cars and
breath from the moving mass filled the air with a quickly
evaporating fog, made even more strange because the night
had become almost as bright as the day, a moonlight far
brighter than any he had ever seen. Albert felt like he was in
some strange Marathon, only he didn't have far to run. Up the
block, people were running toward him. Everyone was
turning the corner at L Street. Albert, running fast now, was
one of the first to turn the corner.
What Albert saw was not in the street, quickly filling
wall-to-wall with everyone from the half block on either side,
but in the sky. To the southwest, about at a forty-five degree
angle from where he was running, was a Moon-like object in
the sky. It appeared more than twice the size of the Moon or
Sun and glowed with a pearl-like light that lit the street and
cast dark shadows. Transfixed, he stopped running, and stared
at it. And then he heard it, the others were singing a strange,
yet very beautiful, song. It was in his ears. He knew the song.
Ronald W. Hull
The Moon before Albert grew and changed colors
until it filled the sky. He focused on the center, from hence
the colors burst forth. A psychedelic wave of colorful
thoughts flowed into him like a river. But he felt good,
relieved, and warm. He was in a dream of the ages. Albert
was singing.
And then it was over. The huge moon was still in the
sky, but Albert no longer saw the vision. He didn't need to.
He understood. He was relieved. But Albert’s work was not
over. He stood for a moment, observing others as they stood
or fell to their knees. Multicolored beams flowed from the
moon directly into the pupils of each person's eyes as they
stood, paralyzed by the sight, eyes wide open and singing.
The chorus of human voices, acapella, was the most beautiful
sound he'd ever heard. And Albert knew what they were
singing. He bolted and ran.
Albert headed up the block from which he'd come.
He ran like he had as a child--joyfully, with abandon. Until
now, he had forgotten what it was like to run without pain.
The abandoned cars were still there, engines running, but the
street was now empty. Almost. Quickly, he reached a walk
down to a basement apartment in a brick building. One set of
old tracks marked the two inches of new snow on the steps.
Through the single window, it was dark inside. Albert had
never been a burglar, but he quickly swung his bag down,
reached in for his Swiss Army knife, selected the right tool,
and picked the lock.
When the door opened, a tepid warmness greeted
him, but also the unmistakable smell of near death. He pushed
the door open and found a light switch. What greeted him
was a dirty little living room with worn furniture. A kitchen
off the living room was empty. When he turned on the light
to the back bedroom, smelling strongly of urine and worse, he
The Kaleidoscope Effect
made out the form of a man lying on the bed, near comatose,
his tongue out, drooling, and his eyes open, fixed on some
imaginary spot on the ceiling.
There was a tack board next to the bed with some
notes tacked to it, and, what appeared to be a nursing
schedule. There was no time to wait for a nurse. Albert found
a robe and pulled off the covers. The man, who appeared to
be in his nineties—suffering from the effects of a stroke or
Alzheimer's—tried to resist, but Albert spoke softly and
calmed him. He was tall, close to six feet, but he was skin and
bones and weighed little more than a hundred pounds. He and
the sheets were dirty, but Albert didn't bother with that. He
just rolled the man over enough to get the robe on. And then,
back in the living room, he found a dusty, unused folding
wheelchair and brought it into the bedroom.
Albert gathered the frail old man in his arms and
gently lifted him to the chair. The guy had stockings on his
feet. Albert found some slippers and put them on him, and
then he took two of the cleanest blankets and tucked them in
around him. The old man just stared straight ahead and
drooled, a slight smile on his face. Albert had left the front
door open, and it was getting very cold in the bedroom. He
wheeled the man out and closed the door behind him.
Albert‘s feet were sure as he pulled the chair up, step by step,
to the street. still empty. When he again arrived at the corner,
the throngs were gone, but there were a few people in
wheelchairs, hospital beds, and stretchers, attended by others
like Albert on L Street, in the light of the new moon, getting
their relief.
The old man seemed to recognize the bright object in
the sky, and stared at it. Soon the multicolored beam, like a
benign lightning bolt, struck the man in the eyes. Albert was
now observing, close-up, what had happened to him. The
Ronald W. Hull
beam curiously split, just before the eyes, and entered both,
simultaneously. Soon, the man was singing in a deep, but
beautiful voice. The song was in a strange language, but
Albert understood it. He understood everything now.
It took fifteen minutes, but the old man changed. His
eyes became clear and bright, and his pallid cheeks became
rosy with new vitality against the cold. The beam evaporated
as quickly as it came. He turned to Albert and spoke: "Hello
Albert. Thanks for saving me. My name is George, George
Lockett. (Albert knew his name before George spoke it, but it
was wonderful to hear him speak it.) I feel so relieved…
Well, we'd better be heading back."
With that, George Lockett rose from his wheelchair,
retied his robe and wrapped the blankets around himself in a
makeshift, but adequate coat, and turned the chair around to
begin pushing it toward home. "Looks like we've got work to
do," he said. Albert knew, but the idea of work had already
changed. He walked back to his apartment with George by his
side, listening to wonderful tales from George's long life.
Winter was wonderful, too. Child like and wonderful.
The Kaleidoscope Effect is short novel that spans 6000 years to flesh out an
extraordinary phenomenon in the few short moments of first contact. From
the Iceman of the Alps to our journey to the stars, stay spellbound.
The Kaleidoscope Effect
Buy The Complete Version of This Book at

Professional Reviews

Not Techno-Crap
Much is left to imagination, but in a way this is right and good. … [H]ow many Sci-Fi novels of today have you heard of that offer a positive and enlightening theme for mankind to ponder rather than the negative Techno-Crap that is currently offered on the commercial shelves?
- Michael Guy, Jazz Composer/Author of "The Last Renaissance Man"

Classic Sci-Fi
[Hull’s novella] is in many ways reminiscent of Greg Bear's sci-fi classic Eon. … an original and well-conceived take on the First Contact theme, and is arguably one of the most uplifting and optimistic variations on this genre.
- Toby Endom, Publisher/Author of "Ten to Midnight"

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Reader Reviews for "The Kaleidoscope Effect"

Reviewed by Michael Guy 8/12/2007
Review: The Kaleidoscope Effect, by Ronald W. Hull

This novelette or short novel is a compact but evolving and transforming story reaching from man’s primitive roots as a hunter/gather just emerging into technology (i.e. read: “The Copper Age) to modern times when man’s quest for tools to shape his world is also shaping his demise and the rest of the biosphere with him. Mr. Ron W. Hull, who has spent his life in or interested in the sciences, writes with a smooth and concise style that never overindulges in description or tangents at the expense of the story, yet he puts a very human face on his theories of how man may evolve out of his crisis and his own views on just who and what ET life may be. He does a lot of character drawing starting with a Copper Age character named Albere, who is imaginatively based on what he thinks the life of that “Iceman,” was like; the one they found frozen in an Austrian Alps slope about 10 years ago. As each chapter closes and goes to the next he doesn’t make any attempt to artificially link the scenes spun out over the millennia; and at first, it’s a little vague as to what he may be driving at (and wondering just what he means by the K.E. effect. Yet soon, certainly by chapter six the story picks up and now in modern times with what turns out to be a character named Dr. Albert Repaul, he exposes that he is linked by DNA to that very iceman that is left frozen in the glacier back in the remote B.C. years. Now imagine, as Mr. Hull does for you, that perhaps with our knowledge of just how vast and old our Universe is, that some type of Alien Intelligent Life had long ago since evolved well beyond even our own capacity today and had been seeking or aware of us for millennia (if not even millions of years) before our present era. Not so impossible when you understand that Mr. Hull well knows the science behind our universe: that many stars found so far away (such as towards the center of our galaxy) or perhaps even the next galaxy are so old as to have been able to foster intelligent life that may have even come and gone past us long ago.
Sanely, he knows that any beings capable of traveling the long, deep eons of Space could only do so only if highly evolved and had conquered many of the evil tendencies that would have annihilated them as a race long before they would become capable of such a venture. They would need to have powers and knowledge that would seem almost magical even to us today, or at least verging on the realm of religion. He calls these beings part of the great Collective, led by two high beings named Dom and Seala. Such a Universal Explorer type mission would of course require the equal participation of many highly evolved species. Their mission: to seek out evolving planets in dire danger of crisis that need their help or the precious life forms face extinction (usually from self-inflicted defects). Knowing how life requires such narrow and special conditions to arise, he knows that life could not just be found anywhere in galaxies. Civilizations would of necessity be abundant but widely far-flung in the Universe. And therefore too precious to waste and allow to face Extinction: therein the Universal Mission of The Collective; Rescue Fragile Life at all costs.
Amazingly, this vast theme plays out in just about 80 pages. Quite a challenge for any writer let alone a science fiction one, and the perfect length for an E-Book. (I know I couldn’t read one online much over that). Any criticisms of his style, perhaps not enough physical description here and there; of the Alien cultures, or the ships they traveled in, or even the climatic event of their intervening in Earth’s affairs; criticisms must be balanced against the fact that such would require a novel of considerable longer proportions.
Much is left to imagination, but in a way this is right and good. I myself don’t begin to think that any being capable of traveling the vast Space and Time to other inhabited worlds would do so by accelerating a “Tin Can” spaceship to infinite speeds. That’s plain silly: you might explore near space in a metal ship, but the vast reaches would require beings of such a high order that the technology would verge on mystical to us, even though Mr. Hull allows they’ve been traveling towards Earth for millennia.
And how many Sci-Fi novels of today have you heard of that offer a positive and enlightening theme for mankind to ponder rather than the negative Techno-Crap that is currently offered on the commercial shelves? This violent mind-puke may have a lot to do with the current state of man’s thinking, but hopefully nothing with our future course or we are all doomed even if Global Warming doesn’t swipe us off. And speaking of that, Mr. Hull has the foresight to realize the inevitable thrust of our Technological cancer may be pushing us towards Extinction and that the G.W. scenario plays into his plot—in other words we may just hope Hull is right, with any luck perhaps there are Aliens who have known about us and can help us in the near future from our plight. I would love to imagine so, but fear we may need to begin to help ourselves today. Thankfully, this novel’s positive conclusion: the Alien Universal Explorers do bring “the Relief” and set Dr. Repaul (even uniting him with his “Iceman” rescued Ancestor, Albere) and bringing a type of almost Divine Resurrection to mankind before once again the precious Life-Forms of the Universe are swept into the Deep Abyss of Time canceling millions of years of precious Evolution.
My only criticism is that this stunning “Rescue” of humankind at the end, would be put a bit more dramatically and descriptively played out by the author.
This books deserves a second edition where perhaps this could be dramatized a bit more. But then again, I have not read his sequel “Alone?” This book a 250+ page novel may well do that. I will definitely have to buy a copy now that I’m hooked on Mr. Hull’s vision of what yet may be our Future. For mankind’s sake, let’s sincerely hope it is something along these lines. Or perhaps we are “Alone?” out here.
Quite a task by this author, all completed in an 80 page short novel; congratulations!

Michael Guy, Jazz Composer/Author of "The Last Renaissance Man"
Reviewed by Peter Paton 7/29/2004
Has the makings of a Sci Fi Classic Ron
There is a lot of interest in this paranormal subject matter !!

Peter Paton
Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper 2/16/2003

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