Time in Niersala

As you may have noticed while reading about Jack Jones, time is measured a little bit differently in Niersala.  Below is a chart with conversions that will help to explain how time works in Niersala.

sekminumurajersemaembaanum
sek110010,000200,000
minum0.0111002,00020,00080,000800,000
ura
0.011202008008,000
jer0.0511040400
sema0.010.11440
emba0.0250.25110
anum0.0250.101

Earth equivalents and conversions: 1 sek = 1 second, 1 minum = 1.67 minutes, 3 minumi = 5 minutes, 1 ura = 2.78 hours, 9 urai = 25 hours, 1 jer = 2.31 days, 54 jeri = 125 days, 1 sema = 3.31 weeks, 1 emba = 3.09 months, 1 anum = 2.54 years, 0.39447 anumi = 1 year.

The second (or sek) is a universal time measurement used both on Earth and Niersala. Time on Niersala is very orderly. Like on Earth, the day (or jer) is one rotation of the planet on its axis. It is broken up into twenty hours (or urai), each of which is further divided into one hundred minutes. Each minute (or minum) on Niersala consists of one hundred seconds. Also like on Earth, the year (or anum) is one cycle around the star at the center of the planetary system. This takes exactly four hundred days. The year is divided into ten emba consisting of four sema of ten days each.

The planet of Niersala has no known satellite; therefore, the concepts of lunar cycles such as months and tides are relatively unknown on the planet. Everything is governed by the rotation of the planet on its axis and around its star.

Jack Jones 20 (The End)

Part Twenty:  After Surgery

“Wake up, Mister Jones.”  The sweetest sound he had ever heard greeted him a few urai later.  “Mister Jones?” he heard as a delicate hand gently shook him awake.

He opened his eyes to see Doctor Jasmine Jynx standing over him.

“You have a visitor, Mister Jones,” she said.  “A very important visitor.”

“Yes, Mister Jones,” Doctor Soto agreed as he stood behind Jasmine.  “I would like to introduce you to the Technarch of Shivek Nage,” he said with a flourish and a bow as a man wearing an odd metal breastplate entered the room.

“Hello, Jack,” the red-haired man said with a strange accent.  “I am Tomas Valens.  Some call me Thomas the Cavalier.  You can call me friend.” He smiled and offered a hand to Jack.

Jack shook the hand of the mysterious figure that had made everything possible for him.

“The good Doctors Soto and Jynx here tell me that the procedure went well.  How do you feel?” Tomas asked.

“Fine, sir,” Jack answered.  “Thanks.”  He released the hand of the Technarch.

“You’re welcome,” Tomas smiled.  “Can we have a moment?” he asked the doctors and nurses standing around the room.

Everyone began moving out of the room.

“Okay, Jack,” the Technarch said once the room had emptied.  “Can I call you Jack?”

Jack nodded in approval.

“Good,” the Technarch smiled.  “Jack, I came here to offer you a job.  I hear you are good with books and numbers and I need an assistant with those sorts of skills.  Also, I would like to take you under my wing as my apprentice.  You see, some day I will need someone to take my place, and I think you are uniquely qualified for the position, especially after your adventures in getting here.  What do you say?  Would you be willing to help me?”

Jack was speechless.  He nodded.

“Fantastic!” Tomas replied.  “I will give you a few days to recover then you can start in your new position, and we will begin your training.”

The doctors entered the room after the Technarch left.

“Wow!” Doctor Soto said once Tomas was out of earshot.  “The Technarch came to check on you himself.  You must be more important than I thought.  What did he say?  Oh, never mind.  I don’t need to know.”

“He’s a big fan of the Technarch, if you hadn’t noticed,” Jasmine whispered to Jack.

“Okay,” Doctor Soto began as he looked at Jack’s chart.  “We are going to give you a couple of days to see how you do with the new heart.  If everything goes okay, you will then be released to the Tekalvary.”

“What?” Doctor Jynx asked.  “I didn’t know you were a soldier.”

“Wasn’t,” Jack shrugged.  “Guess I’ve been drafted,” he laughed.

“Well, you get some rest,” she replied, “and we will check on you in the morning.”

“Okay.” He smiled to himself as the doctors left the room.  He lay in bed deep in thought.  A soldier, huh?  Who would have thought?

After a light supper which he washed down with apple juice, Jack went to sleep and dreamt of his new life in the Tekalvary.

THE END?

To be continued in “Conversations with the Technarch” coming soon.

Jack Jones 19

Part Nineteen:  Into the Operating Room

The next morning, Doctor Soto came to visit Jack in his room.  “I hear you met Doctor Jynx,” he commented with a smile.

“Yes,” Jack replied as he remembered the vision of loveliness which had visited him in the garden the previous afternoon.

“She is one of our best,” the doctor said as he looked at Jack’s chart.  “Did she explain the procedure to you?” he asked.

“Yes,” Jack responded.

“Well, what do you think?  Should we go ahead and put you on the schedule?” Doctor Soto asked as he looked up from the chart.

“Sure.”

“Excellent!” Doctor Soto responded cheerfully.  “We can do it this afternoon if you like, or we could wait until tomorrow if you prefer.”

“Now’s fine,” Jack said.

“Okay, then,” the doctor smiled.  “I’ll have the nurses come in with the necessary paperwork and release forms then we will get you prepped and into the operating room.”  He put the chart back into its holder and left.

Soon a nurse came in with several pieces of paper which Jack had to sign.  After that, several nurses and technicians entered the room to get him ready for surgery.  They lay him on a gurney and rolled him to the operating room.  Once there, the head nurse introduced the staff and explained what would happen.  Then the anesthesiologist greeted him warmly and explained how he would feel as the anesthesia took effect.  As he was falling asleep, Jack saw an angel enter the room.  Jasmine had arrived.

Jack Jones 18

Part Eighteen:  In the Garden

Jack spent most of the next couple of jeri deep in thought.  Each afternoon, a nurse came, helped him into a wheelchair then wheeled him out to the hospital gardens to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.  He spent much of this time watching people walk by and wondering what it would be like with a new, artificial heart.  Would he be able to run and play sports?  What else in life was he missing?  What about his lungs?  Did he really need to replace them?

He often noticed people with artificial limbs and wondered if others who didn’t have any obvious prostheses might have artificial internal organs.

On the second afternoon, a beautiful blonde woman in a long white lab coat approached him as he sat in the garden.  “Hello, Mister Jones,” she greeted him with a voice sweeter than anything he had ever heard.  Her gentle voice was more melodious than birdsong in the morning.  “I am Doctor Jasmine Jynx.  Some of the folks around here thought I should talk to you.  How are you doing?”

“Fine,” was all Jack said as he took in her beauty.  Long, shapely legs clad in some strange metallic trousers went up into the open lab coat which revealed a slender waist and ample bosom covered by a yellow blouse which complimented the color of her golden locks.  Her radiant blue eyes stared at him with interest.  The scent of garden flowers mixed with a bright citrusy smell as she moved closer to him. He wanted to kiss her to see if she tasted as nice as she smelled.  It was all he could do to control the tightening in his groin.  “At least that still works,” he thought in a back corner of his mind.

Doctor Jynx leaned in toward him, crouched down and put a delicate, gentle hand on his as she sat back on her ankles.  Her touch was soft like angel feathers on the wind.  “That’s good,” she said as she looked intently into his eyes.

Jack was mesmerized and enchanted.

“I’m here to see where you are in making your decision about the proposal Doctor Soto made to you the other day,” she explained.

“Uh huh,” Jack said, transfixed by her loveliness.

“We have everything ready to go.  We only need your approval to go ahead with the procedure.”

“Uh huh.”

“To give you a better understanding,” she said reaching into her pocket, “I have brought a model of the heart I will be putting into you.”

Jack snapped out of the spell for a moment.  “You?” he asked as Doctor Jasmine pulled out a large white mechanical heart.

“Yes,” she replied with a smile brighter than the sun as she held the model in her cupped hands before him.  “Don’t worry.  I have done several of these procedures before on lab animals and corpses, even a couple of Darvini.  You will be my first living human patient, but I am certain everything will be fine.  This is what it will look like.  See this part here is where your natural heart is having trouble,” she said as she pointed at and into the machine.  At one point, she opened it to show him exactly how the valves worked.

All of the technical talk went right over Jack’s head.  He was more interested in staring at her and simply listening to her voice than trying to understand what she said.

Eventually, Doctor Jasmine Jynx put the model back into her pocket and stood.  “So, what do you think?” she asked.

“Beautiful,” Jack responded.

“Yes,” she laughed.  “It is quite an extraordinary piece of technology.  Well, I’ll let you think about it some more, and when you are ready, I have your heart.”  She turned gracefully and walked back into the hospital.

“You certainly do,” he thought as the nurse came to take him back to his room.

Jack Jones 17

Part Seventeen:  The Artificial Hand

The trip to Electropolis was short and uneventful.  Within a few urai, the transport had stopped at the hospital.  Jack was wheeled into his windowless room and hooked up to the equipment already there.

“Hello, Mister Jones,” a yellow-skinned man with dark hair greeted him once he was settled.  “I am Doctor Soto.  I will be monitoring your progress during your stay here in Electropolis.”

“Nice to meet you,” Jack returned the greeting.

“It is nice to meet you, too,” Doctor Soto said.  “How are you feeling?”  Jack noticed the doctor had a strange, metallic glove over one hand as he retrieved the chart at the end of Jack’s bed.

“Fine,” Jack replied.

“Hmm,” the doctor said as he examined the chart.  “Very good.  It seems the little bit extra we put into your travelling medicine has done its job.  Also, your little adventure on the way here has had some unexpected benefits.”  He put the chart back and turned his attention to Jack.  “Your lungs are looking and sounding much better than they did in New Sydney according to your chart.  We may not have to do as much there as we had anticipated.”  He pulled a stethoscope out of his pocket and put it into his ears.  “We’ll run a few tests in the next few days to see what exactly is going on there.  Okay?”

“Sure,” Jack said as the doctor helped him sit forward and put the cold diaphragm of the stethoscope against Jack’s back.

“Deep breath, please,” Doctor Soto instructed Jack.

Jack inhaled as much as he could then exhaled.

“And another,” the doctor said as he moved the stethoscope to the other side of Jack’s back.

Jack took another deep breath then released it.

“Yep.  Sounds good to me,” Doctor Soto said as he replaced the stethoscope into his pocket.  “So, I doubt a full lung replacement is going to be necessary.  On the other hand, your heart is a different matter which we need to discuss.”

“Yes?” Jack said as he laid back.

“Well, you see, Jack … May I call you Jack?” Doctor Soto asked.

“Sure,” Jack replied.

“Well, you see, Jack, we have to do something about your heart.  According to the reports we got from New Sydney, the muscle itself is wearing out and the valves don’t open and close like they should,” the doctor explained.  “Now, we can go in and try surgery to correct the valve issue, and we have medications which may strengthen your heart which we can add to your current regimen, but all of that is only temporary.  You would have to take the medicine for the rest of your life, and we may end up having to increase the dosage as time passes.  The main reason we brought you to Electropolis, however, is to try something radical.”

“Yeah?” Jack said.

“Yes,” Doctor Soto smiled as he brought out his gloved right hand.  “As you may have noticed, my hand is a little bit different.  You see, it is a fully functional artificial prosthesis.”  He held out his hand for Jack to examine, turning it and flexing the fingers.  He clenched his fist several times then set his hand on the bed as he sat down on the edge.  “All of this is thanks to the innovative medical technology the Technarch has brought to Shivek Nage and the world of Niersala.  Even as the Technarch has given me my hand back, we want to do the same thing for you.  If you are willing, we want to replace your heart with a fully functional artificial one which will never wear out or cause you any trouble, barring some sort of catastrophic trauma, of course.”

“Hmm,” was all Jack could think to say.

“Yes,” the doctor continued.  “We were thinking we would have to replace your lungs as well, even as the Technarch himself has had done, which is why I think he has taken such a personal interest in your case.  But with the improvements we have seen, that may not be necessary.  We could still replace one lung, or even just a part of one, to see how you do, but that would be up to you, of course.”

“Of course,” Jack agreed hesitantly.

“So, what do you think?” the doctor asked.  “Do you want a temporary solution that keeps you on medication for the rest of your life, or do you want the artificial heart and/or lung?”

Jack just sat there, his head swimming with the possibilities and implications of what Doctor Soto had just told him.

“Don’t answer right now,” the doctor said as he stood.  “We will give you a couple of jer to think about it.  I’ll be back then for your answer.  For now, just relax and let the hospital staff take care of you.”

“Okay,” Jack said with a smile.

Doctor Soto left, and a nurse entered with a tray of food.  Jack thanked her as she left, then a technician came in to check on Jack’s respirator and other machines.  Jack picked at his food while the technician worked.  He put on his respirator mask when the technician offered it to him with a hand which looked very much like the hand of Doctor Soto.

“Does everyone here have artificial parts?” he wondered.  Jack breathed deeply of the filtered air and thought about what the doctor had said.  Eventually, he fell asleep, his meal untouched and his mind troubled.

Jack Jones 16

Part Sixteen:  Into the Transport

The next morning, Jack was greeted with a familiar flurry of activity.  Doctors, nurses and technicians rushed to check his progress and dismantle his machinery as Joe gave him a dose of medicine.

“I think I’ll walk this time,” Jack insisted when Joe arrived with a wheelchair.

“Sorry, buddy,” Joe smiled.  “Gotta use the chair.  Clinic rules.”

Jack reluctantly got out of bed and sat in the wheelchair.  Joe wheeled him out to the transport.

“Do I really need all of this equipment anymore?” Jack asked as Tod tried to put the respirator mask on him once he had gotten in the bed aboard the vehicle.

“Yes,” Tod replied as he forced Jack to lie down with a push on his chest.

“Sorry, Jack,” Joe said.  “We know your lungs are stronger, but they’re not a hundred percent yet, and your heart is still enlarged.  That may never change.  We must take every precaution.”

“Lot of good that did on the ship,” Jack mumbled as he allowed Tod to put the mask on him.

“Yeah.  Well, I told you to get to the cabin, didn’t I?” Joe asked testily.  He turned his back to Jack and went to his seat.

Tod finished with the equipment in silence then took his seat.

“Everyone ready?” a familiar, red-haired half-elf asked as he entered the transport.

“Hi, Rojer,” Jack greeted cheerfully through his mask.

“Hi, yourself, Mister Jones,” Rojer replied with a smile.  “I hear you’ve had quite an adventure.  Well, relax.  We’ll get you to Electropolis safe and sound.”  He patted Jack on the shoulder then headed to the front of the vehicle. The transport began to move.  Jack smiled to himself.  The final leg of his journey to meet with the Technarch of Shivek Nage had begun.

Jack Jones 15

Part Fifteen:  In the Delta City Clinic

When Jack woke, he thought the whole journey had been a dream.  He was lying in bed in a room very much like the one in New Sydney.  When he looked out of the window, however, everything was different.  The streets seemed darker, and it was foggy.  The room smelled musty with a hint of brine and rotten fish, unlike the fresh, flowery scent of his room in New Sydney.  He could feel the humidity clinging to his skin.

“Well, good morning, Mister Jones,” a man in a long, white lab coat said as he entered the room flipping through the pages on a clipboard in his hands.  “Or should I say, ‘good evening’? Seems you have slept most of the jer.”  He put the clipboard in a holder at the end of Jack’s bed then put his hands behind his back.  “We had to make some adjustments to your medication.  It seems your adventures on the way here have strengthened your lungs a bit.  Your heart is still a serious issue, though.  Here, let me take a listen.”  The doctor took his stethoscope from around his neck and put the eartips into his ears.  He then put the diaphragm of the chestpiece against Jack’s chest and listened intently.  “Sounds good,” he said after a few seconds as he straightened and put the stethoscope back around his neck.  “I still want to do an EKG before we send you off to Electropolis, though.”

“Okay,” Jack replied.

“Good,” the doctor replied.  “We’ll get that set up and done as soon as possible, and tomorrow morning you will be on your way to meet the Technarch.”

The doctor left the room, and a few minumi later a medical assistant helped him into a wheelchair and took him off to the EKG room.

A technician pasted several cold sticky leads to Jack’s chest and various other parts of his body.  He then went over to a rather elaborate looking contraption and began pulling levers and pushing buttons.  The thing sputtered and coughed.  “Damned gnomish crap!” the technician cursed then gave the machine a good, swift kick.  “Ow! Ow! Ow!” he hollered holding his ankle and jumping around the room.  The huge device began to purr, and a paper readout began to come out of a slot.  After a minum or so, the paper stopped advancing.  The technician tore it off the machine then took it into another room.  A minum later, he returned and began taking the leads off Jack.

Jack was returned to his room.  He lay in bed for several hours staring out the window and thinking about Shala and Jak Robin and Fay.  He recalled something the Traveler had said about his spirit being strong and shining like a beacon.  Was that how they had found him?  Did he really shine?  And what was it the Traveler had said about angels being drawn to him?  His head spun.  So much had happened to him.  It was a miracle he was still alive.  He was tired.

Jack lay there a little while longer, but soon he felt his eyes closing.  Within a few minumi, he was sound asleep.