Chapter 3: In Dead World again, a live white Rabbit and an interesting proposition.
“About your wife and the photocopier.” I continued, “It sorted out your difficulty with her boss didn’t it? I mean he had to sack her and that ended the assignations”
“I suppose it did. I hadn’t really thought about it in that way. However, it sets me up for more trouble in the future.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, if we’re to believe what Fritz told us my wife is the “fit bird” seduced following the arse searing episode.”
“Oh, I see what you mean. But we can’t really be sure that the Real Dead Fritz caused this to happen when he fell into the orb.”
“I suppose you’re right. But it’s rather too close for comfort, don’t you think?” Adrian was looking worried.
I had to agree.
Just then we heard, “Hi, can I help you?”
The question came from the direction of a large, hairy…Rabbit. He looked like he’d just had a blow dryer run over him. Fluffy, very hairy and large.
Adrian and I looked at each other, closed our eyes…simultaneously… opened them, and together said “This is not happening – a Near Dead overgrown Rabbit.”
“Why not?” questioned the interloper. “In any case I am very much alive – not one of your Near or Real Deads.”
“I feel I’m in a hysterical version of “Alice in Wonderland””, cried Adrian, “This is out of kilter – the quantum accountant couldn’t get it this wrong. Talking Rabbits, whatever size, are impossible.”
“So how do you explain me then?” I’m the impossible made visible – neat don’t you think?”
“An impossible overgrown talking Rabbit.” I added.
“I frankly don’t see why you boys should be so startled – considering where you are – what you are – that’s pretty fantastical isn’t it? I exist because of those blasted quantum “shimmies”, as I like to call them.”
You couldn’t fault him there.
“But, you’re alive in Dead World, isn’t that a contradiction – even if we concede your Rabbit-ness, life here is somewhat out of place.”
“Well done Adrian!” I thought. It struck me that he’d encapsulated the problem succinctly.
“Oh I see”, said Bobtail, “I thought you’d haver about my being a Rabbit, but it’s my being alive that’s your difficulty.”
“Yes.” I said, “It’s not that you being a Rabbit doesn’t present us with difficulties – it does – it’s just that you being alive in Dead World is much more problematical. I’m sorry if that sounds rather unhelpful.”
“Not at all. I see your predicament precisely. However, you’re worrying unnecessarily. Let me explain.”
“Do you not agree that in Dead World there exist two states - Real Dead and Near Dead?”
“We can’t disagree with that.” we said in concert.
“Do you also agree that there is a significant difference between Real Dead and Near Dead? They are both states of deadness but one is significantly deader than the other. If you accept that then I would suggest you must recognise that those states are but part of a continuum - at one end of which is Real Dead and the other is Alive. If any state is abnormal it is Near Dead since it is neither one thing nor the other. I hope that is clear.”
I thought the Rabbit had set aside our worries but Adrian wasn’t so easily persuaded. He was ready with his counter argument.
“Ah, but Near Dead and Real Dead are subsets of the same set “Dead”, whereas Alive is not a part of the “Dead” set – it’s different.”
My admiration for Adrian knew no bounds. “Well said Adrian!”
“Also,” he continued, “If you accept that Real Dead, Near Dead and Alive can co-exist in Dead World, isn’t it probable that the three states could also exist in Live World – but there’s no evidence of that.”
“Isn’t there?” asked the Rabbit at which point he bit on a large carrot that he held in his paw.
“Where did he get that from?” asked Adrian
“I don’t know – his back pocket?” I said.
“Isn’t there?” the Rabbit repeated. “What about Ghosts, Vampires and other unexplained supernatural happenings – things that go bump in the night in Live World? I suggest that they are Live World’s equivalent of the “Near Dead”.”
“I think we’ve just been insulted”, I whispered into Adrian’s ear.
“OK, let’s cut the Gordian knot. We’ll accept that you are a live Rabbit, but how?”
“You’re not going to pursue the set, subset analysis?” I queried, “I thought you had him on the ropes there – not that I followed it completely, but it sounded convincing to me.”
Mr Briar Rabbit ignored me.
“My dear young friends, as I had intimated earlier, the same quantum process that drew you forth from the mega void, created me.”
“I think I can accept that.” replied Adrian. He looked at me and I shrugged my shoulders.
“Thank you. Now here’s a queer thing. As you will appreciate, if you bring Real Dead and Alive together they usually annihilate each other. The Ying and Yang of the quantum order you might say. However, put a Real Dead, Near Dead and Live (Rabbit or something else) together, they exhibit all the qualities of a Real Dead – without the unfortunate side effects. I put it down to the quantum accountant getting confused.”
I swear he paused for dramatic effect at that point and inspected his paws.
“I’m sure you boys can see the possibilities.”
You’ll recall that Adrian and I had decided on attempting to get to the core where we could somehow use the Boltzmann generator to set up a quantum perturbation which would, all things being equal, generate a repercussive effect in Real World which would unscramble Adrian matrimonial agonies – or at least get one over on the Chingford estate agent.
However, events had moved on apace in Live World, with Adrian’s extremely attractive wife having been sacked for faxing her bum to about two hundred prospective home buyers.
If we did not act quickly the seared bum incident would be acted out in Live World and Adrian’s wife would be swept of her feet by a “client” of Fritz Herzog – a recently deceased Near Dead.
Yet we appeared to be confronted with an impossible obstacle. The only way we could get to the core was to be Real Dead. And as far as we knew being Real Dead was the end.
As Adrian pointed out – it might not be – it might be a new beginning – but there was no guarantee.
So we were stuck. That was until our friend the Rabbit turned up and offered us a “Get out of Jail” card. If we managed to hook up with a Read Dead, we along would our Live carrot gnawing colleague could spiral into the core and once there set about “messing up” those quantum uncertainties. It sounded too good to be true.
Chapter 4: Sarah, Adrian’s wife, the Professor, a mega computer and other universes
I decided to go for a long walk. I had to clear my head after the recent events at work.
I have a very unimportant job at one of the science research councils. I do the filing and a few other “odds and sods”.
I had been working at an estate agent in Chingford. Nice job, near home and reasonable hours. And then in a moment of madness it all went topsy turvy.
I lost my job because I (accidentally) e-mailed a photocopy of my bum to about two hundred clients and my company‘s headquarters in Leeds……