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The Mystery of Sibelius
It is a fanfiction of a real person slash, Brett Yang and Eddy Chen of Twoset Violin. I was inspired by Solaris by Stanislaw Lem. The main idea of this novel is that love can transcend death.
One afternoon in 2073, 80-year-old Brett Yang set foot in Brisbane's Starport. All he had with him were two violins and a change of clothes. His entire fortune had been sold off in advance, and the money he got was exchanged for a ticket to an interstellar funeral.
In the second half of the 21st century, the successful application of controlled nuclear fusion opened the door to the fifth industrial revolution. Manned spaceflight technology has been developed significantly, and the universe accessible to humans has expanded to 1/10th of a light year. Manned spaceflight-related services have also sprung up in the market, including interstellar funerals.
An interstellar funeral is when these people board a spaceship and sail deep into the infinite universe until the fuel and life support systems are depleted and the ship becomes a small tombstone drifting aimlessly through the universe.
Interstellar funerals are expensive. Guests were treated as VIPs. They were welcomed aboard with a marching band in the harbor and handed champagne by the cabin steward. This was the only flight in the Starport today. The Starport staff had to help Brett with his luggage, and he was given only a carry-on suitcase with clothes. He was carrying a black piano case by himself and another piano case on his back.
There were only four passengers inside this flight, besides Brett, there was a middle-aged man in his forties, a woman in her twenties, and an older man about Brett's age.
The passengers all know that the purpose of this flight is to die, so there is no ice breaker, no pleasantries, and each run to their own cabin.
Brett walked into his cabin in silence, and the flight attendant had already placed his suitcase next to his bunk. He drew the curtains and placed the two piano cases on the luggage rack.
He drew the curtains and pulled a double photo from the inside pocket of his shirt and placed it on the nightstand.
He took off his jacket, changed into his homely clothes and lay down on the bed, a memory of the scene flashed through his mind. He was getting old, and if he didn't try to recall them every day, he would probably forget them and never remember them again.
The humid Singapore air, the Brisbane beach sun, his laughter with another man, the sound of the piano, the duet... it was as if a gentle hand had blinded his eyes, leaving a darkness behind.
The ship sailed for seven days and arrived at the most remote planet that mankind could reach, Sibelius, a name derived from the Finnish composer Sibelius.
Sibelius orbits two stars, one red and one blue. According to the Gamov-Shapley hypothesis, it is impossible for life to arise on a planet orbiting a binary star. The orbits of these planets are always changing due to the gravitational forces rotating around each other. The resulting ingress would cause the planets' orbits to alternately contract and expand, and if initial life did emerge, they would be mercilessly wiped out by the radiant heat or freezing cold.
A thick ocean covers the entire planet Sibelius, as if it were a pot of protein boiling down into a thick soup. This is an indication that the evolutionary process of life on Sibelius has just proceeded to the level of the Earth 3.8 billion years ago.
"Sibelius Observatory to newcomers. All clear, you are now ready to land. Repeat, you are now ready to land. Countdown begins: 250, 249..."
Brett felt a jolt. The ship landed on the landing pad of the Sibelius Observatory.
The 4,000-square-meter observatory was the only man-made facility on this most remote of planets. For the passengers on this flight, the observatory was more like a small guest house on the precipice of human society. The ship will stay on Sibelius for seven days, during which it will refuel, adjust its course and finally head deeper into the completely unknown universe.
At this point, the plain they were on rotated to the side of the red star. The red light filled the cabin through the windows. The sea was shining under the red sun with an orange oil glow, like red wax oil dripping from the top of a candle, a little solidified and clumped.
There was a knock on the door, and Brett opened it. In the doorway stood a stout man, seemingly honest and friendly, he is the observatory personnel, people call him "sailor".
"Sailor" was pushing a cart, "Tea or coffee?"
"Coffee." Brett said.
"Sailor" handed him a cup of coffee, still standing in his doorway, as if he had not seen anyone for years, and when he saw a new visitor, he had to keep talking.
"The observatory will hold a dinner tonight to welcome you, please be sure to attend. We have not seen a new face for a long time, we are looking forward to a flight to this place every day, can slightly dispel some of the loneliness here. When you've been here long enough you realize that the greatest difficulty is not the lack of supplies, but the loneliness."
Brett nodded, "Thanks, I'll be there."
"Sailor" said, "Oh one more thing, I am obliged to inform you that during your stay on Sibelius, you can still request to return to the ship, but without refund. Once you leave Sibelius Star, it is impossible for you to go back. "
"I see," Brett nodded, "thanks for the information, but I won't be returning."
He closed the door. He would never return. He should have embarked on this flight ten years ago, and ten years of languishing had proved it was nothing but a waste of life.
Brett stepped into the bathroom and unscrewed the faucet. The hot water tilted down from the shower at the top, and Brett stretched his limbs under the hot shower, stiff from the long trip, and he felt that everything was no different than on Earth. But the gravity on the surface of Sibelius was actually much less than on Earth, and thanks to the artificial gravity inside the observatory, the shower water was falling instead of floating in the air as droplets of water.
The water has a strange smell. There is no fresh water on Sibelius that is directly drinkable. The water in the observatory is purified by drawing from the ocean.
He dried himself off. By this time, the red sun had set. The blue sun was hanging on the horizon. The ocean on the surface of Sibelius was rushed into the air by the gravitational influence of the huge blue sun. Waves hundreds of meters high rushed into the sky, and water spray blurred the boundary between the surface and the sky.
Brett sat at the porthole watching the spectacle of the alien sunset and shivered for no reason, as if something alive was hiding in this inanimate ocean, sizing him up through the porthole.
There was a knock on the door, and it was the sailor, "Mr. Yang, dinner is about to start."
Brett straightened his clothes in the mirror and pushed open the door to the small ballroom inside the observatory. He was seated next to a man about his age among the passengers. Across from him was the middle-aged man among the passengers. The woman in her twenties was not at the banquet. There were sailors in the room, and another staff member of the observatory, the "captain".
The woman was late, so everyone had to open their own seats. Brett picked up the glass and smelled the aroma of a punchy grape drink.
The man next to him called John, and Brett whispered to him, "Where's the girl?"
"The captain went to look for her. She seemed scared by something when she first landed and was afraid to come out of her cabin." John said.
"What was it?" Brett was curious.
John shrugged, "I don't know. She said she saw her puppy on Earth, but that dog died years ago. Don't you know? There are a lot of unsolved mysteries on Sibelius."
"Experts say it has something to do with the special magnetic field and gravity on Sibelius. It's not a good thing to say. There's more or less strange things on the alien planets."
"Oh, thanks." Brett said.
"You're welcome. I'm just hearing things. I see on your neck," John pointed to his own neck, "is that a violin hickey?"
"Yes," Brett nodded, "I'm a violinist."
John's eyes sparkled, "May I have the pleasure of hearing you play? I'm a fan of classical music on Earth."
"Of course, you can come to my cabin in the evening to listen." Brett said.
The captain hurried back, and all eyes in the dining room were on him.
The captain cleared his throat, "I just went to see Jennie, and she's all right. She's decided to return to Earth."
"Why?" The middle-aged man asked, and that was the question of everyone in the hall.
The captain said, "She was homesick. The girl is very young, make such a decision is not easy, the last-minute giving up is normal. Let's be understanding and not put too much pressure on her."
Brett remembered that he had met Jennie when he was on the airship, a girl in her early 20s, dressed very well, and could see that her family was well-off, and that it took a lot of courage to make the decision to give up her life, and that her family was willing to pay for her. It is understandable that such a person would still be attached to the mundane world.
The captain hurriedly left again to prepare Jennie's return to Earth. After the dinner, Brett invites John to his cabin to listen to him play the violin.
Brett opens the case, clips the violin to his shoulder, and starts tuning it with his right hand squeezing the fine tuning, but John sees another black case on the luggage rack.
John pointed to the case and asked, "What's that?"
"Don't move," Brett said, his eyes darkening, "That's my lover's belongings."
Brett placed the piano in his hands on the bed and opened the case on the luggage rack, which held a number of photographs of the pair. His fingers gently plucked over the four strings, and John could hear that there wasn't a lot of out of tune and the tone was sweet and mellow, so it must have been Brett who took care of the instrument regularly.
"It's been ten years since he left me." Brett said.
"Was it an accident?" John asked.
"It was an accident. My lover is also a violinist. Ten years ago, we were invited to perform at City Hall. During the rehearsal, the chandelier on the roof fell down. I was standing under the chandelier, but he pushed me out of the way..."
"From that point on, I didn't think I should live."
John sighed and placed a hand on Brett's shoulder, "I can understand you. I'm a widower, too. My wife passed away thirty years ago."
"Cerebral artery hemangioma. It ruptured during the craniotomy. She couldn't move her whole body, couldn't speak, only her eyeballs could move a little. I saw that she was working too hard and had the doctor remove her tubes."
"She had a hilarious personality. Even later, when we were not young, she would always chatter in my ears when something happy happened. But when the doctor pulled the tube out and pronounced death, I felt too quiet."
Brett recalls that when he finally groomed Eddy, he too was very quiet. He didn't pick at his poorly tied bow tie, he didn't get impatient with him complaining about his messy collar, he didn't clutch his hand on his neck or lower his head to give him a kiss. He was quiet as if he had simply fallen asleep, but Brett knew that from that day on he would never wake up again, and that from now on there would only be day after day of broken mornings.
He originally thought that all the power that can destroy the good must have the power to overwhelm the sea, like the huge waves on the island, the moment of destruction of the good must also have a huge sound, as if shattering the glass lamp. But death is not, death is very quiet.
Brett closed the case and picked up his instrument again. His hands were still shaking, and he couldn't even hold the bow a little. He tried to pull it twice, but it only made a very confusing sound.
"I'm sorry. That's why I hardly ever mention my lover in front of others. It's not because I don't love him. Every time I mention him, I can see the end of my life. I have been alone in the world for another ten years and finally realized that life without him would have been meaningless."
"I understand. It's fine if you don't want to play," John said, "I don't want to see you grieve any more than you already have."
Brett put the violin away in its case, "But it's a good thing we both made the right decision. I meant to board this ship and go far into the universe to die. I think it will be quiet when the life support systems are depleted and we lie in the middle of the deep sea and stop breathing."
John said, "If the dead really do lead to another world, then going to death is like a train to that world. They are standing on the platform, waiting for us to get off."
"It's like crossing a whole universe to go on a date with them." Brett said, "Whether there is such a world or not, everything can't be worse than it is now."
Brett slept in the cabin all night. After an early breakfast, he went to the landing field to say goodbye to Jennie, with him and John, and a middle-aged man named Paul. Two of the observatory staff arrived, one is the " sailor " and the other is nicknamed " chief mate ".
The captain led Jennie over to the landing field with her head down, scowling, her shoulders even trembling slightly.
"Poor kid." John couldn't help but lament, "Making that kind of decision is still too difficult for them at that age."
Jennie heard John's words and looked up at him, her eyes filled with blood, "It has nothing to do with age. If you knew what I'd met, you'd return to the ship too."
John was a little stunned, but gave Jennie a friendly pat on the shoulder. "Now that you've decided to return to the ship, go back and have a good life with mom and dad."
Jennie wanted to cry again when she heard this, "I miss mom and dad. I want to go back. I don't want to die."
Brett wasn't interested in any of this. He surveyed the single manned ship docked on the landing strip. The facilities on the Sibelius Observatory are rudimentary, and the only way to get back is to take the small, single-passenger spacecraft, which will take two weeks to return to Earth.
Jennie hugged everyone in the room, and Brett came up and put his arm around the girl and patted her back twice, "Don't be afraid, you're still young, go back and enjoy your life." He said.
Jennie suddenly looked up, revealing her pale, bloodless face, staring at Brett with wide, unseeing eyes.
"I saw Tobby," she said inexplicably to Brett as if she were sleepwalking, then quickly lowered her head and reverted to her old, trembling appearance, taking small, timid steps toward the single-occupant ship.
Brett was a little confused, and he wasn't sure if Jennie's comment was just for his ears. He turned to John and asked, "Did you just hear her say something?"
"What?" John knew nothing.
"Nothing, just something like wishing us a safe trip." Brett said.
Jennie's ship took off from the landing field. Brett and John walked together, and John said, "She's going to have a tough trip back. Alone, crammed into a small, single-person ship with no one else to keep her company, with nothing but deep space and the occasional passing nebula out the porthole, it's going to be a full two weeks before she gets back to Earth. How will she face her family and friends when she returns to Earth? I'm sure they all know about her decision to give up on life, so what will they think when they find out she's returning?"
Brett said: "But at least her life can continue, she is still young. If her parents supported the decision to give up life in the universe, they would have supported her to come back to life. We're different, we've already started and there's no turning back. Going back? What good would it do us to go back?"
With Jennie's words in his mind as she hugged him, Brett walked to the observatory library and pulled a copy of The Mystery of Sibelius off the shelf.
Sibelius was discovered by man in the 1950s of the 21st century. An unmanned probe launched by humans discovered the planet, landed on the surface of Sibelius, and mapped the surface.
On the first page of this brochure was printed but the first picture of Sibelius received by man: a planet covered with oceans, orbiting between two stars.
At first all the surveys proved to be consistent with the Gamov-Shapley hypothesis. No signs of life were found on land or in the oceans.
It was not until four years later that man built a modest observatory on this marginal planet, the precursor of the present-day Sibelius Observatory. A team of scientists worked on the observatory for three months, emitting rays, particles, and even signal waves into the dense ocean for experiments that led to a surprising fact: the ocean on Sibelius was surprisingly active.
The existence of life on Sibelius was transformed into another mystery: whether the oceans on Sibelius could be called life. This proposition was later called the Sibelius mystery by scholars.
The Sibelius puzzle was certainly a challenge to the Gamov-Shapley hypothesis, which was still unquestionable at that time. The subject of Sibelius immediately became a hot topic in academic circles.
Biologists believed that Sibelius' ocean was a primitive organism, like a giant single cell, and that there was one and only one "organism" on Sibelius. On the other hand, physicists and chemists believe that the ocean of Sibelius is a highly complex symmetrical body. But no one can conclude that the ocean of Sibelius is a living creature, which is contrary to the Gamov-Shapley hypothesis in the first place, and this idea is completely beyond human knowledge.
Teams of scientists were sent from Earth to Sibelius, worked there for months or even years, and then returned to Earth. Each team seems to have solved a part of the Sibelius mystery, as if the blind were touching the elephant, some touching the leg, some touching the nose, no one can say that what they touched is the mystery itself, but then again it is indeed part of the mystery. Once a mystery is solved, more mysteries emerge from the discussion. The Sibelius mystery is like an infinite series of recurring decimals that one cannot figure out the pattern or see the end.
A plane crash during one of the research teams led by Professor Orff gave circumstantial evidence for the discovery that the oceans on Sibelius seem to have their own way of thinking.
This is the end of the booklet. The author's descriptions are very vivid and leave Brett with a feeling that he can't finish. He wanted to know the inconsistencies of the crash, so he searched the bookshelves and finally pulled a pamphlet from the corner.
He opened the booklet and was dazzled by the mathematical symbols on the pages. He had to skip the mathematical formulas and focus on the textual descriptions. Calculation is only to make a judgment, and sometimes perceptual observation can be more touch the essence of the scientific mystery.
The booklet focuses on the testimony of Mirvsky, the helicopter pilot in the crash. The helicopter he was piloting lost altitude in the fog of the sea, and he himself landed on the surface. On the surface, he saw a "baby" on the tip of the wave, not a real baby, but a baby-like "thing".
The "baby" naked, his hands waving, making a variety of movements, a smile on his face, a moment of sadness. But this does not look like a real person, but someone is manipulating this thing to imitate the actions of people.
Sibelius on the ocean appeared like a human but not a human thing ... Brett shivered, he remembered the theory of the Valley of Terror.
Brett was startled and turned his head to see it was the captain. He was relaxing. He happened to have some questions he wanted to ask the captain.
He showed the Sibelius Mystery in his hand like the captain, "You have worked in Sibelius Observatory for so long. I would like to ask you what you think about the Sibelius mystery? Do you think the ocean of Sibelius is a living or non-living thing?"
The captain politely asked to bring the book over and Brett handed it over. The more alarmist the author, the more readers to follow, as if the earth would be for the mystery of Bermuda, the mystery of the pyramids tend to rush."
He asked Brett, "Mr. Yang doesn't seem to be a scholar who specializes in Sibelius."
Brett shook his head, "I am a violinist, the understanding of Sibelius stays in that composer Sibelius just. To Sibelius problem, I'm only a layman."
The captain showed a smile, "Then I would suggest you not think about Sibelius problem. Sibelius mystery is now out of fashion. Humans can not solve the mystery of Sibelius, the urgent need to retreat from this unsolved mystery. It is futile to think about this kind of topic anymore, and it will lead you into it. As I see it, it doesn't matter what the ocean of Sibelius is, what matters is what we can get from Sibelius."
"Get what?" Brett asked.
Pragmatic ideas were rampant after people discovered that the Sibelius mystery was unsolvable. People felt that if they couldn't solve the Sibelius mystery, they should at least take something away from Sibelius. But no matter how much research was done, the ocean samples taken from Sibelius, like its protein nature, eventually rotted into a puddle of stinky water.
The captain laughed, "May I ask what brought Mr. Yang on board this flight?"
Brett sat up straight, "Because of my lover. He passed away ten years ago. I wanted to follow him ten years ago, but all my friends advised me to hold on a little longer. I persisted for ten years and realized it was better not to persist in the first place. Life without him can be said to be uninteresting, and it is better to live on Earth than to die generously in the universe."
"Do you still love him?"
"Of course I love him, sir. My love for him has not been decayed by death, nor has my grief been diluted by time."
"Then I suggest that you do not choose to return to your ship; the planet Sibelius will give you something."
"I will not return to the ship." Brett said.
"That's not necessarily true, you see Jennie..."
Brett interrupted him, "Jennie went back to have her family. The love of my life is gone, and I don't have a home anymore. I'm no different on Earth alone than I am wandering the universe."
"When I went to comfort Jennie, I heard her talk a lot about her family, her mom and dad. Do you know Tobby?" The captain asked.
"Tobby?" Brett's mind wandered, "I don't know."
The captain said meaningfully, "That was her pet puppy, but it's been dead for many years."
"Okay. It's time for my daily inspection of the facilities in the observatory. mr. Yang, excuse me for a moment."
Brett felt a cold sweat rise behind him, his mind went blank, and after sending the captain away, he headed for his cabin alone. Ever since he arrived on Sibelius, he had felt a lingering aura of madness and mystery.
He walked up to his cabin door, and the touch screen hanging in front of it was marked with a line that read, "Hi, bro."
He guessed it was probably a sailor who wrote a greeting for him when he was cleaning the house, and felt a lot lighter inside. Below his line was written, "Yes, dude."
On his second night on Sibelius, Brett dreamed of Eddy, the first time in ten years that he had dreamed of his deceased lover.
He sat on the couch in the living room of their house and asked where he wanted to go to celebrate their wedding anniversary. The fence in the garden is broken and I need someone to fix it next week. The Brisbane Orchestra is playing the Sibelius Violin Concerto and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto this season, and we need to buy tickets early to get good seats. City Hall asked when we were free to rehearse at the venue.
He had the violin in his arms and strummed the strings like a guitar.
Brett heard the strumming and opened his eyes.
Eddy was sitting on a table under the porthole, the blue sun behind him, his violin in his arms, the case on the luggage rack open, his fingers plucking the empty strings one by one.
Brett's eyes filled with tears. Ten years had passed, and he was finally able to see his lover again in his dreams when his life was about to end.
Brett looked at Eddy, who hadn't changed a bit from the way he remembered, his hair was white, the collar of his sweatshirt was crooked to one side, and the belt of his pants was not properly tied, one long and one short was exposed.
At that moment, Brett felt in a trance that Eddy was not dead, they had just been separated for too long.
Brett had so many questions he wanted to ask his departed lover.
Didn't I love you enough? Did you think my love for you had faded over time? Or else you wouldn't come to my dreams for so many years? Is it because I'm dying and you've come to pick me up?
But he finally held back, biting his lips and swallowing his tears into his stomach. He was afraid that tears would break this beautiful dream. He just wanted him too much too badly.
Eddy rolled off the table and put the violin in its case, his fingers gently resting on the skin under Brett's eyelids that had become hot from holding back the tears. The tips of his fingers were cool, because the calluses were a little hard. He grabbed Eddy's hand, and the touch was exactly the same as he remembered, and he hadn't changed a bit in the past ten years.
Yes, the memory of the living is that time stands still for the dead.
"What's wrong?" Eddy said.
"Nothing. I just miss you so much." Brett said, burying himself in Eddy's arms. His fingers traced the spine of Eddy's back, where it was still smooth. His body heat was warm.
Eddy lowered his head and dropped a soft kiss on his forehead, returning his smile, "Why are you so clingy today?"
"How did you get here?" Brett asked.
Eddy pointed out the porthole and joked, "I flipped over the window and came in. I Saw you sleeping, so I didn't want to bother you."
Eddy sat on the bed with his arm around him, and Brett looked at the unshaven stubble on his chin. He thought back to the morning of rehearsal when Eddy had come out of the bathroom to tell him that the shaving foam was gone and that he was only half-shaven.
He had a lot of questions for Eddy. did he regret pushing himself away that day? Did he want them to have a life together as much as he did? Did he know that after he took care of the funeral he looked at the house and everything was haunted?
Finally Brett asked, "What do you want to do today?"
Eddy said, "The City hall invited us to perform, and we're going to rehearse today. You play the violin and you'll go under the chandelier and I'll be behind you..."
"No, don't say anymore." Brett gently placed a finger on Eddy's lips.
"Nothing." Brett shook his head, "You might as well talk about tomorrow."
"Tomorrow..." there was a flash of confusion in Eddy's eyes, "How strange. I only seem to remember today, only you. I knew you were here, so I came in."
"Brett, I didn't want to leave you."
"It's okay it's okay. If you can't remember, don't think about it. We're all getting old and it's normal to forget things." Brett squeezed out a smile. He had no intention of getting any answers, it would be futile, he just wanted to make the most of this beautiful dream.
"Hmm." Eddy nodded.
Brett leaned in Eddy's warm arms, like a cat on a bed of water, and actually felt a little sleepy. It was amazing how sleepy he could feel in his dreams.
He tried to open his eyes wide to see Eddy one more time, but still could not resist the sleepiness. His eyes went black and his wrist fell gently on Eddy's arm.
It was morning on Sibelius, and the red sun was rising over the horizon.
Brett rolled over comfortably in bed, recalling last night's beautiful dream.
Of course Eddy was no longer there, it was just a dream he had. The room was quiet, and he was alone. He stretched and got ready to change and go to the dining room for breakfast. His eyes chanced to glance at the luggage rack, the violin case was open, Eddy's violin was exposed to the air. He felt his heart was suddenly grabbed by a big hand.
He walked to the dining room with a bit of mixed feelings. John was not in the restaurant except for him and Paul.
He lowered his head to take a few bites and saw Paul's hands trembling as he held his knife and fork, his eyes staring blankly out the porthole at the ocean. Out of concern, Brett asked, "What's wrong with you Paul?
Paul's teeth chattered, "Mr. Yang, did you see a woman in the observatory?"
"A woman? No." Brett was puzzled, the only woman in the observatory was Jennie, after Jennie returned, there should not be a woman in the observatory.
"I think I saw a woman. I've never seen her in the observatory before."
"Maybe you're looking at it wrong." Brett said.
"I wish I were." Paul gave a bitter smile.
After breakfast, Paul, still trepidatious, strongly urged Brett to accompany him back to the hatch, and Brett had to agree.
At the junction they heard John's voice, and Brett wanted to go over to say hello, but was stopped by Paul.
"Don't go over there. Let's go a different way."
"What's wrong?" Brett couldn't figure it out.
"Hi, Brett." He and Paul were standing at the intersection when John appeared, with a blonde woman in tow. The woman was holding John's arm, her head hanging over John's shoulder, her face expressionless, like a puppet, looking creepy as hell.
Paul saw the woman and looked scared, holding onto Brett's arm for dear life.
"That's the woman, that's her!"
Seeing this big change in the living, Brett's heart is also a little scared, can only stiffen up and John pleasantries.
He pointed to the woman beside John and said, "Who is this? I've never seen this before."
John smiled and said, "This is my wife, Laura."
"Didn't your wife die of a hemangiopericardial aneurysm?"
"What are you talking about?" John looked a little angry, "My wife was with me for over fifty years. You see, she's still alive. There's nothing wrong with her and she's not dead. She's always been with me."
Brett felt a pang in his head and Paul even yelled and ran away from there.
"Sorry, John, maybe I got confused. I still have some things to do, so I'll go back to the cabin." Brett quickly left the place of right and wrong and headed for the cabin. His back was already covered in cold sweat.
The sailor called out to him, "Mr.Yang, you have a guest. He is waiting for you in the room."
"Yes. You are lucky. Life on Sibelius is so lonely, but you have a guest."
"Do you know who's coming?" Brett asked tentatively.
The sailor gave him a look, "You don't make fun of me. You know best, so why ask me? Enjoy the good times." He bowed briefly and left.
Brett stood in front of his cabin door, his heart beating, fearing that inside the room was a monster that looked like a human being. He thought of the baby that appeared at sea inside Milfsky's testimony, which was really frightening.
He also thought of Jennie's pet dog, John's wife who had come back from the dead, and a bold guess came to him: could the "guest" be Eddy? He even looked forward to it.
The thought that the guest in the room might be Eddy, he was not afraid at all. As long as he (it) is Eddy, or the person or thing can have a little like Eddy, he (it) will not be bad for him.
Brett plucked up enough courage to press down on the handle and push open the door.
Eddy was wearing a black sweatshirt and sitting in front of his desk writing. He looked to be in his thirties, much younger than he remembered. It reminded Brett of the days when they lived together in Singapore, sometimes when he was out late socializing with friends, Eddy would sit in front of the dining room table writing the plans for the video, waiting for him to shower and go to bed together.
Eddy saw Brett push in, smiled at him and said, "Welcome back."
What the hell is this "Eddy" in front of you? Is he a human or a ghost? Is it a living or non-living thing? These questions were completely extinguished at the moment of seeing his lover. He preferred to believe that this was Eddy, that his lover had come back to life, that this was a gift from the planet Sibelius.
Eddy did not ask where this was, and he did not wonder why he had come from Earth to this planet. Even if he did, Brett couldn't answer. Could he tell Eddy that you were actually dead? It was all either a dream, a dying hallucination, or a frightening scientific phenomenon.
Eddy beckoned to Brett, "Come here, I want to kiss you."
Brett wheedled his way into Eddy's arms, and Eddy hugged him from behind, his head buried in the nape of his neck.
"I don't know why. I miss you especially. No, I think about you every day, but especially today."
Brett thought to himself, "I think about you every day, too, no day more or less.
He calmed down and pinched his palm like they do in TV shows, and still felt the stinging pain. What does the tingling mean? If everything is unreal, the pain can also be an illusion. He was not a logician and could not solve the maze of logic with more than two levels.
He simply gave up and asked Eddy, "Do you remember our performance at the City hall?"
Eddy looked puzzled, "City Hall? Is it Brisbane City Hall? When did we ever play at City Hall?"
"Nothing. Maybe I'm misremembering."
"Or maybe I don't remember. You know I have memory problems." Eddy said.
Brett smiled at him, "What were you doing?"
Eddy held up his notebook and said, "I was writing a video proposal while you were gone. TAS has a meeting next week and I was thinking of some ideas."
Brett's hands gripped Eddy's black sweatshirt as he realized that this Eddy was also just a part of the real Eddy. The last Eddy only knew what happened today, and this Eddy only knew what happened when he was young, not the decades they spent together later.
But so what? Part of Eddy is also Eddy, even if only part, he can not resist the attraction of this part to him, even if the remaining 90% may be a monster, he is willing to share a bed with this monster, just for that little bit of Eddy's smell.
He lifted his head and took the initiative to kiss Eddy on the lips. Eddy seemed to freeze for a moment, he had rarely seen Brett take such an initiative, but soon cooperated again. Brett felt his whole body heat up.
He and Eddy stayed in the room until the afternoon, when the red sun was wavering in the sky and the blue sun could be seen below the horizon in the reflection of the ocean, Brett made an excuse to go out and asked Eddy not to go out.
As soon as he left the charming little room, Brett stood in the hallway and sobered up. He was desperate to figure out what the guest was.
He thought of the captain, who he felt must know something.
He found the captain in the dining room, and the captain seemed to know he was coming and offered him a cup of coffee from inside the coffee machine.
The captain made a joke to him: "How is Mr. Yang's research on the Sibelius mystery? There is something to tell you, while you were in the cabin, Paul had already returned to Earth."
Brett, however, don't want to play with the captain and directly asking, "What exactly are the guests? Are they alive or dead? Are they living or non-living?"
"It seems you've already met the guests." The captain said.
Brett said with bitterness, "The guest is my lover who has been away for ten years. I'm sure he's gone, and I took care of his funeral myself. But he was so fresh when he was just in my cabin."
The captain squeezed his shoulder, "I can understand you, Mr. Yang, beginners always fall into the trap of thinking that all phenomena on Sibelius have their own meaning, just as evolution on Earth is about survival, so the ocean must have its own meaning, and so do the guests. This is a philosophizing Sibeliusian view. And they forget the first axiom of Sibeliusianism, that the Sibelius enigma is unsolvable."
"The axiom is also unsolvable; It is the summary of the phenomena, the agreed view. For the phenomena on Sibelius, we have only to admit, and get no secondary inference beyond that. The guest is also, his existence is existence, you can only acknowledge him."
"This is the reason why Sibeliusianism became unfashionable later. Humans could not understand Sibelius, and they could not make use of Sibelius. Sibelius is like an immense treasure chest, the key of which is still in some corner of the universe. Mankind cannot find the key, is so exasperated that it even begins to resent it."
"Mr.Yang, you have met the guest, now what do you want to get?"
Brett said, "I want...to keep him."
The captain laughed: "I've been working on the Sibelius Observatory for more than ten years, and I have my own opinion about the Sibelius mystery. Perhaps you can listen to it. I first came here under the scientific research team of Professor Orff, I was only one of his graduate students at that time, and Milvsky was my senior. We were both studying Sibelius in terms of physical structure."
"We tried many ways to induce oceanic reactions on Sibelius, and we tried to communicate with the ocean using brain waves. And guess what the results were? We came to the conclusion that the ocean on Sibelius has a mind of its own, and its consciousness is reflected in his ability to react to our thinking. The awareness of things is reflected in the way this thing is reacting to external changes, which is also reflected in the category theory."
"What does that mean? Does it mean that we can see our guests because we want to see them?"
The captain nodded, "It's somewhat similar, but it can't be called a law. Because the mystery of Sibelius is unsolvable."
He suddenly waved to the corner, and a girl of seven or eight years old ran out from around the corner, "Alice, say hello to Mr. Yang."
The little girl didn't obey and went straight into his arms.
He smiled apologetically at Brett and said, "This is my guest, my daughter Alice."
The captain continued, "The ocean on Sibelius is like a supercomputer of immense proportions that scans the thoughts inside your head and reacts to the strongest emotions in your head. This is the process by which they perceive us. Only if you have this emotion, the ocean will be active. Otherwise, the ocean is just a dead thing."
The captain touched the top of the girl's head in his arms, "As long as you still love him the most, he will always be there. If you get tired of him, he will naturally disappear."
He said and let go of Alice, "Daddy and Mr. Yang have something important to say. You go play downstairs."
Alice waved to Brett and ran away, Brett stared at the girl's back and thought of John and his wife, of Eddy and himself, and felt a sense of sympathy and sadness.
The captain stared at him and said, "On Earth, we always add significant meaning to the things we like, thinking they can transcend everything. Philip Larkin said that what lasts longer than our existence is love. But we cannot deny that this is a pure fantasy, that it is consciousness that will always be limited by the laws of nature in the world of science, so we resent death and the fact that there is an end to life."
"But on the planet Sibelius, 'life has died and love has not yet ended' is no longer a lie, it may indeed sound absurd and ridiculous, but it is not futile."
Brett walked back to his room alone, Eddy was still in his room. He opened his eyes wide trying to make sure that Eddy's face had not changed, that his love for him had not decayed, that he had not let him disappear before his eyes.
He struggled for a long time and decided to tell Eddy the truth. He spoke: "Eddy, we are now on the planet Sibelius. Sibelius, the composer you like so much."
Eddy, however, said, "I know."
"Do you love me?" Brett asked.
Eddy blinked, "Why you ask? Of course I love you. I love you more than I love my life."
Brett thought about how he did, or he wouldn't have been able to rush over and push him away in the tenth of a second it took for the chandelier to fall.
"So do you regret it?" Brett finally asked.
"Regret what?" Eddy was greatly puzzled.
Yeah, Brett thought sadly, he couldn't answer that question because he didn't know what happened afterwards.
On the morning of the fifth day, Brett and the captain said goodbye to John. Laura didn't follow him on board, she was gone, and Brett's mood was somewhat low. Sibelius can bring the dead back to life, but it can't undo the decay of love.
Love is like a mechanical clock, it ticks and ticks to fill the corners of life. Brett wished John had just gone back and re-torqued the broken cog in his heart, instead of Sibelius making him realize that his love for Laura was fading little by little.
They walked back to the observatory together. The captain said to him, "The guests are dependent on the oceanic presence of Sibelius, so it is impossible for them to leave Sibelius. This seems logical, but there has never been an experiment to prove it. Do you know why?"
Brett shot back at him, "Because the mystery of Sibelius is unsolvable."
"Quite right, Mr. Yang," the captain said, "the results of the experiment are certainly meaningless, but that doesn't mean the experiment itself is meaningless. We don't do experiments because we can't do such experiments. We can't let go of our guests, even though we know they are dead and now alive is a product of Sibelius Ocean, but how can we not be moved when facing the faces of those we love the most? No one wants to launch the guests into space and watch them dissipate in the universe. In our eyes, they are not monsters different from our kind, they are the people we love the most."
"Mr.Yang, you still have the right to return to Earth now." The captain said to him.
Brett shook his head.
"It's okay, I'm just telling you about it. After all, it's my job." The captain said.
Brett and the captain went back to the dining room, where Eddy was playing a fugue for Alice. Brett couldn't help but think of the time when they were young and had mixed up in the junior string class at the local Brisbane elementary school, learning to pluck empty strings from the teacher.
When Eddy saw them, he put away his bow, and Brett went up to him and took his hand, and it was a thick touch, and Brett felt a weight fall from his heart, that his love had not decayed over time as others had, and that his love had managed to keep his beloved.
Brett teased Alice, "Do you know what song this is?"
Alice shook her head.
"It's a fugue by Bach." Brett said.
"Who is Bach?" Alice said.
"Bach is a very famous composer from Earth."
"What's Earth?" Alice blinked his eyes and looked at him in confusion.
Brett stumbled over his words, forgetting that Alice, like Eddy, was ignorant of something. He couldn't ask Eddy anything, and Alice had no way of understanding them.
"It's okay. It's okay if you don't know."
The captain gathered Alice's head into his arms and said, "Daddy will tell you later."
Brett whispered to Eddy, "Do you remember Navarra by Sarasate?"
He wouldn't not remember. As long as he has memories of Eddy as a young man, Navarra is something like a shadow of them, Brett was sure, but was a little skeptical when Alice made a scene like this.
Eddy said, "Do you want to play Navarra together? I haven't practiced for a long time."
"That's okay. You'll remember it all when the music comes on. Think of the performance we did at the Brisbane String Class, Alice would have loved Navarra."
Eddy scratched his head and said, "All right then. Don't laugh at me if I screw up. It's been a really long time since I've practiced."
Brett took the piano, and as they had done countless times in front of people, they made eye contact, took a deep breath, and went inside the phrase.
The ocean rose in a great swirl. Brett remembers it all, Eddy has somehow forgotten it.
Brett stared at Eddy, watched him close his eyes to match his music, watched him purse his lips and smile, and he said silently in his mind, "He is him, he is Eddy."
At the end of the song, Eddy stuck his tongue out at him, he had a little trouble keeping up at first, something was missing in him, but then gradually he was able to keep up with Brett.
Alice was delighted, smiling and running over to hug them, and Eddy allowed her to touch the top of his own violin. His violin and Brett's were a pair made by a luthier, and Alice put her ear to the top and listened to the sound of air flowing through the inner cavity.
"Do you want to learn to play the violin?" Eddy asked.
Alice nodded her head.
Brett was a little surprised when Eddy turned his head to him and said, "I can't believe we can popularize classical music this far out in space."
Brett smiled and said, "Yeah, I didn't expect that either." Then he said to Alice, "If you want to learn, Eddy and I can teach you."
They walked back to the cabin together, and Eddy suddenly stood still and said to him, "Bro, am I forgetting something?"
"What's wrong?" Brett said.
"You asked me earlier about playing at the City Hall. I was pretty sure there was no such thing. But just now when we were playing in the ensemble, it occurred to me that Brisbane City Hall did seem to send us an invitation and asked when we could rehearse."
At night, Brett had dreams. He dreamed that when he and Eddy were both still 23 or 24, they were sleeping together on the streets of Brisbane to raise money for their first world tour.
The place where they were playing the violin was not particularly peaceful. They leaned back to back. Sometimes he would fall asleep and Eddy would be awake, and when Eddy fell asleep, he would look around with his eyes open.
Another time he woke up from a nap and found Eddy with his eyes still open. He asked him why he wasn't sleeping, he had to play the piano tomorrow, and Eddy said you had just fallen asleep, I didn't dare close my eyes, I was afraid something would happen.
Sometimes they they stay awake together, waiting for the next day to come, when many more people will watch the live broadcast than late at night, and they can raise more money.
Onlookers always look at this period of experience with some a posteriori perspective, because they later have a successful career, then this moment must be meaningful. But what Brett remembers most is the trepidation of that time. They didn't know if they could raise $50,000, or if it would be enough for a tour.
All they knew was to play the piano for as long as they could. If they couldn't do it in five days, they could do it in ten days, and if they couldn't do it in ten days, they could do it in fifteen days. The good thing is that they are together and never alone on the road.
It's been more than fifty years since such a thrilling experience was thought to have passed. At this point Brett does not resent death, but rather appreciates it, precisely because life has an end, and he and Eddy will never spend more time apart than they do together.
Brett woke up in a daze and met Eddy's smiling eyes on his pillow.
"Why are you looking at me?"
Eddy laughed, "Because I love you."
Brett then saw clearly that Eddy was no longer the thirty-something he had been a few days before. He was twenty-three years old when he was crowdfunding on the street, his face was thin and dark.
Brett wondered, although after the marriage Eddy often told him that he had ambiguous feelings for him during the long period when they did not talk about it. But in any case, 23-year-old Eddy would not say "love" to him.
"What are you thinking about." Eddy gathered him into his arms.
"Let me go..." he tried to struggle, "Eddy, you need to know... you shouldn't be... right now."
"I'm clear." Eddy said, "I remembered everything. Brett, I'm dead, aren't I?"
Hearing the words from the mouth of a loved one that he is dead is frightening no matter what, and so is Brett, who is busy covering Eddy's mouth and pressing his other hand to Eddy's chest, feeling the beating of his heart.
"Don't say it. You're alive..."
Eddy took his hand in his, "I know. That's because you love me."
"But I know other things, too. I remember the decades we spent together afterwards, the wall art on the walls of our house, the garden fence, the towels by the sink, the neighbor's puppy.I also remember when we were invited to rehearsals at City Hall and you were standing under a chandelier and it fell and I rushed over and tackled you."
Eddy laughed bitterly, "I guess I should be dead. I've never felt so long apart from you."
"Until I felt like I woke up from a long darkness and saw your eyes through the porthole."
"It's been ten years...it's been ten years since you left me. Everyone advised me to be strong. There may have been a few points in my life when I could have left you in style, but where we hadn't spent so many years together, where we hadn't experienced so much, but I had lost the ability to leave. So I made the cowardly decision that I just wanted to be closer to you." Brett felt tears muddle his mouth by the end of his sentence and could only make slurred noises.
"What about you?" Brett finally asked the question, "After all these years, have you ever regretted pushing me away in the first place?"
"Brett," Eddy said with utmost seriousness, "whether it was getting into music school or later quitting to run TSV or loving you or marrying you, as long as it was a decision related to you, no matter how much pain it might have put us through, I've never loved regretted it. Because it is based on our love."
He said, "If I had ever regretted loving you so much for a second, I would have been too ashamed to come and see you. Because I know that you love me as much as I will always love you."
"I have not regretted it, never, not for a moment. It is because neither of us regrets, and neither of us gives up, that we are here today to see each other again."
Brett finally got his answer, feeling a tight string in his head finally loosened, ten years of self-doubt and struggle finally stopped. There had never been a moment when he had been so captivated by Eddy's body and scent.
He unbuttoned two buttons of his pajamas, and Eddy unbuttoned all the rest with one hand, while the other backed down his pants and rubbed them gently against his inner thighs.
Brett's face grew red and his gasps grew ragged, "Come on," he said trying desperately to make some normal sounds, "let me have 23-year old you"
Eddy gave Brett's inner thighs a squeeze and Brett finally let out a moan, "Scream out," he said, teasing Brett's sensitive spots with his familiarity, "You know I used to dream about you when I was 23. I've longed for you in my dreams."
The morning sun was so pleasant and the sea was sparkling. The cabin was a messy tangle of two quilts, and Brett was so tired that he fell asleep on Eddy's shoulder.
But when he woke up again, it was well into the afternoon, and Eddy had redressed him, and he was standing by the porthole looking out at the Sibelius ocean with a jacket gathered.
He saw that he was awake and brought a glass of water to his mouth for him to drink.
Brett drank the water, feeling less dry throat, he whispered to Eddy: "I do not want to die. Death, so terrible, like walking a pure black maze, can never go to the end. Can you take me away? We'll go to a place where no one knows and we'll always be together."
Eddy stroked his hair and kissed his forehead, "Okay, we'll elope today."
They changed clothes and briefly cleaned up the room. Eddy and he walked through the hallway of the observatory, pushed open the fireproof, permanently closed door, and walked to the observatory's viewing platform.
The observation platform's support pillars struck into the reefs of Sibelius' ocean floor, and beneath the platform was a sea of water. Except that the sea water is not as fluid as the oceans on Earth, Eddy and Brett seem to be back on the coast of Australia, reminding them of the observation deck on the Great Ocean Road, where the sea water sea breeze etches the rocks into different shapes.
They walked to the edge of the observation deck, took one last look back, and jumped from the observation deck hand in hand.
The fall didn't take long, and it didn't hurt when they landed on the surface of the ocea. Brett soon felt himself wrapped in a thick and warm liquid. He only had a death grip on Eddy's hand. The sea water rushed into his mouth and nose, he did not feel suffocated, but as comfortable as back in the amniotic fluid, he was getting sleepy, and finally closed his eyes, this long sleep.
They were clinging to each other under the surface of the sea, the thick seawater wrapped around them to form a protective gelatinous spherical shell. The spherical shell continued to fall until it landed on the bottom of Sibelius' sea, turning into a piece of amber set in the world of Sibelius.
They will remain embraced in this ocean until after 1.5 million years, when Sibelius will fall into the Red Sun because of gravity.
For at least 1.5 million years, they would not be separated again.
On the morning of the seventh day, the captain came to tell Mr. Yang that the ship was ready, the fuel was replenished, and the course was set, so he could embark on the final journey.
He stood at the door of the cabin and found it silent, and found that the door was not locked.
The cabin was empty, except for two violins on the bed, whose owner was nowhere to be found.
He found a note on the desk, which said that the two violins were a gift from them to Alice, addressed to Eddy & Brett.
The booklet Brett had been holding finally contained another page, his and Eddy's story.
Appendix 1 Author's Statement
This article is merely a literary interpretation of a hypothesis about the Sibelius mystery and does not involve academic discussion. Please be careful about citing this article in academic papers. The author is not responsible for any consequences.
Appendix 2 A brief introduction to Sibeliusianism
Sibeliusology is the general term for the study of idiosyncratic phenomena on the planet Sibelius. Sibelius science is generally divided into the following branches: biological, structural, contact ... The first axiom of Sibelius science: the mystery of Sibelius is unsolvable ...