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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Dead Again: Or How I Saved Mankind (Chapter 7 of 13)

Chapter 7: Someone, Somewhere is making changes to Dead World and Sarah’s involved. 
 “Rabbit, what changed?”   asked Adrian.

 “Oh I see what you mean. Well, it wasn’t a technical change, the sort Dave mentioned - wireless transmitter and receivers and all that. No, it was a fundamental change affecting Dead World. Quite suddenly, for no apparent reason, one of the fundamental properties of Dead World altered.”

 “But how did you know things had changed?”  I enquired.

“I suppose you’d call it a rumour - that’s what it was. It spread out from the core, along and in between the spiral like some sort of a shock wave.”

 “The news on the street was that somehow things had changed. Something different was taking place in the core and this had changed the dynamics – and here we are.”

With that the White Hairy Lepus tugged hard on the string attached to the Real Dead and we found ourselves hovering in space.

“Got it, that was close, I was beginning to suspect that we couldn’t slow down our 
descent. Now Dave, what was that about Fritz?”

There was no doubting it the Real Dead we’d hitched a ride with was our big headed physicist friend who’d explained the existence of Dead World to us. He was just staring ahead.

“Rabbit, what are the chances of us meeting Fritz?” I asked.

“Oh I don’t know – a few zillion to one I suspect, which makes me wonder whether it was a chance meeting.”

The Rabbit had pulled an enormous calculator out of his bag and from behind one of his ears a large pencil appeared. With the tip of the pencil he rapidly tapped the keys of the computer.

“Yep, a zillion to one give or take a trillion here or there. It looks suspiciously like there’s some real connection between you guys and Fritz; some causal link between what’s happening here and in Live World. I’ve no idea what it is but I’m sure it’s 

At that moment there was a disturbance in the core and a shimmer of light spread along the spirals. In no time at all it enveloped us. We couldn’t see anything; the light was so bright, even with our eyes closed tightly they hurt with its intensity.

After a while the light lessened and we felt able to open our eyes. Rabbit was lying on what could only be described as some sort of sun bed with the most spectacular pair of sun glasses covering his eyes.

 “Far out, man”, he repeated to himself as he removed a set of head phones from his ears.

 “What was that?” I asked.

“Groovy, don’t you think – it’s the first time I’ve had such a trip - wild”

It was clear that, for the moment, at least, we weren’t going to get any sense out of him. 

“Dave, look at Fritz!”

Adrian was tugging at my sleeve and pointing energetically in the direction of the Real Dead Fritz. Around Fritz there was an aura –a cloud of particles radiating away from him. The cloud expanded and as it did Fritz appeared to get smaller.

 “What’s happening?” I said.

 “How the hell should I know?”

 “Look, if Fritz “vanishes” what happens to us – the balance’ll be lost between Near Dead, Real Dead and Live Rabbit. “ I was worried.

Adrian who now was holding the end of the piece of string that once had been tied around Fritz shouted over to Rabbit.

“Can you help us, please?”

 With that Rabbit took off his sunglasses which he packed into his bag along with his sun lounger and headphones. Adrian was winding in the unattached piece of string as he spoke. And then it struck me.

 “Adrian we’re still here. I mean nothing’s happened.”

“You’re right, Dave – do you think it’s something to do with the aura?”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s only a theory but maybe Fritz hasn’t disappeared as such – he’s just been transmuted into something else – a cloud of particles.”

“So the balance is unchanged?” I queried.

“That’s right. Look at the cloud, it hasn’t dissipated into space, it’s just hanging there wrapping up the three of us.”

 “Well, I hope you’re right.” I said as I tried to focus on the individual particles that made up the cloud that once was Fritz.

“Hum, it had been rumoured but I’d never seen it.” the Rabbit was poking the individual particles with his fingers.

“Yeh, that’s what happened me lads – our Real Dead Fritz has been atomised – or I should say quantised.” 

Rabbit took a shooting stick out of his bag, opened it up and relaxed onto it. At the same time he pulled out a stick of celery and started to munch on it. The novelty of his tricks was wearing off. Now was not the time to play the Great Stupendo.

“Something’s happened to Dead World which has changed its basic properties, allowing us to spiral into the core. Awhile back energy started to flow into Dead World at a prodigious rate. Initially, it didn’t have much of an impact – there was increased churning of the core, but that didn’t seem to mean much.”

Rabbit was now well into his stride.

“However, after a while more significant changes began to take place. Whole areas of Dead World would disappear, only to re-appear somewhere, sometime else. The very fabric of Dead World was being rearranged.”

“ The core itself was changing. Previously it organised itself in a probabilistic way, as the result of quantum fluctuations and changes brought about by the Real Dead interacting as they plunged into the core. Now, the self organisation was much more discrete. It was as if the core was being instructed to make changes.”

We weren’t convinced, but then what did two Near Deads know about anything. Rabbit rabbited on. 

“Fritz was the first to understand this. He postulated that the energy flowing into Dead World carried with it coherent information. That information, in quanta packets, “instructed” the core, so that it organised itself in a different way.”

“That explained the core’s behaviour but not the other major changes that were taking place in Dead World.

Again Fritz came up with an answer. The information the core received, and which re-organised it had a direct, discrete and localised effect on the structure of Dead World. It was as if this information was being aggregated and then pushed out into the fabric of Death World. In Fritz’s view somehow, something, someone, some whatever outside Dead World was changing, deliberately or otherwise, its structure.” 

“But of course he would. How stupid of me – how could I have not made the connection” Adrian whispered as if he was talking to himself.

“Dave, you know I told you about my wife Sarah.”

 “Yes,” I replied “she photocopied her bum and got sacked.”

“Forget that Dave.”

 Adrian didn’t appear to appreciate my only recollection of his wife’s achievements.

“After she left the estate agent in Chingford she got a job as an administration assistant in one of the science research agencies. She was always coming home with stories about the latest discovery or whatever.”

“Hold on, are you seriously expecting me to believe that your wife is responsible for changing the structure of Dead World?”

 “No, of course not! Will you just shut up!” replied Adrian.

 “But one of the people in her group was a scientist called Fritz Hertzog – Why didn’t I recognise his name earlier. She said he was a real big head.”

“Well she was right about that.”…. Sorry, do continue.”

“Her team, including Fritz, were involved with this amazing research project – designing the ultimate computer – a quantum computer.”

Adrian went on to describe a meeting at which the scientists involved in this project detailed a massive and unexplained creation of energy – energy sufficient to power stars. This energy somehow flowed into another universe.

“I tell you, Dave, Sarah was really spooked out by this. Does that description sound familiar? Fritz would know all about the experiment, which explains why he had a good idea of what was going on in Dead World. The information flowing from Live World is reshaping the very fabric of Dead World and the core!”

I think I’m a fairly imaginative sort of bloke. I read science fiction, watch “Star Trek”, and appreciate zany humour. But I was struggling here. I’ve said it before; our position wasn’t what you would call usual. Being Near Dead, that is.

Nor would you say hitching a ride with a Real Dead and a Live Rabbit was something you’d come across every day. But, Adrian and I had, I thought, coped extremely well with the fantastical situation we’d found ourselves in.

 Not that I’d thought too deeply about it; a sort of defence mechanism I suppose. If I had I think I’d have lost my mind – well frankly I’m not sure I haven’t anyway. And while what I had just learnt from Adrian did have a pleasing symmetry, completeness and logic about it; it blew my socks off.

“I’m sorry to interrupt your musing lads but we’re getting pretty close to the core.” Rabbit said, “I suggest you check that you’re securely attached to me – I think it’s going to be a rough ride.”

He wasn’t wrong; in the next instant we hit the surface of the core. All around us were the Real Dead but they were being atomised within moments of entering the core’s body – just like Fritz.

The interior was churning but not in a haphazard, random manner – it was hugely organised. Massive, hexagonal columns were plunging down towards the core’s centre, other similarly shaped columns were rising from its depths and after reaching a certain level they’d spread out into millions of layers, each of which pulsated, and flowed backwards and forwards.

 The overall impression was of a cell or collection of them – an organism. The atomised, quantumised Real Dead were absorbed within those structures and as a result further re-ordering took place. Fritz, or what he’d become was stripped away from us.

 “Oh, oh, this is bad.” I thought, “We’ve lost our cover.”

Just then a huge, awe - inspiring, knee trembling core quake happened. In an instant everything shifted into a new configuration and a massive column of light streamed out of the core. This, I guessed, was the mechanism by which the major changes to the fabric of Dead World were effected. In the light column was information, instructions which were promulgated along the core’s spirals and into Deep Dead Space.

I couldn’t see either Adrian or Rabbit, although I could feel the tug on the string which reassured me that I wasn’t floating loose.  I was not sure in which direction to look, as the convulsing core was distorting light. One moment I was looking at the back of my head the next I was staring at my own face.

It was then I saw Rabbit. Even with his sunglasses and headphones on, lying back as if he were sunning himself on some exotic beach, I felt a huge sense of relief. Adrian was some distance away looking slightly the worse for wear. And I pulled myself over to him.

“Oh there you.” Adrian observed, “I was afraid you’d been vaporised along with Fritz.”

 “What do you make of all this? And what is Rabbit doing?”

“I don’t know”, he said as he tugged on the string that attached him to the rodent and began reeling him in Rabbit.

 “Adrian, I’ve been thinking. We’ve worked out that the core is a Boltzmann probability machine – right – with the Real Dead providing the information about Live World enabling changes to be made to that World. What if someone, or something, was fed up with all this messing about and was making a pre-emptive strike on Dead World. What do you think?”

“I had a similar thought myself.” said Adrian.

 “Some sort of intelligence or intention behind all of this. It fits with what Sarah told me about the energy flows in the quantum computer experiment. The flows were taking away coherent, information. It was as if, what did she say? “It’s as if it was done for a purpose.””

Rabbit was now banging up against us, still with his sunglasses and headphones on.

“Whoa…mellow; did you dig it man.” We didn’t but this didn’t bother Rabbit.

“The energy of the stars, the transfiguration of the Read Dead – Hey man it’s resurrection!!”

He then produced an electric guitar from his bag and played “All along the watchtower.”

He’s speaking in riddles!” I said to Adrian.

“Hold on Dave, let’s try to deconstruct this.”

As he said this Adrian removed the headphones and sunglasses from Rabbit.

“Rabbit”, what’s mellow? Is it the way you feel, is it something about the core or the energy flowing into the core? What is it precisely?”

“Lots of questions there Adrian my old pal, my old beauty. What precisely, I don’t know. If you ask me to have at a guess; I’d say it’s the flow man, go with the flow.”

I had no idea what the rodent was on about.

“OK, so it’s the energy flows that are mellow.” Adrian said, “Would it be correct to say that the energy flowing into the core was benign. That its intention was non malignant?”

“That sounds cool to me.”

“And there’s an intelligence behind the energy flows. It’s not undirected nature at work?”

“You’re so hot you’re cool.”

“OK, somewhere, for some reason an intelligence is directing huge flows of energy into the core with the clear intention to change Dead World. Now the why?”

Adrian poked at a few remaining atoms of what remained of Fritz as he spoke.

“We think that whoever it is is sick and tired of Dead World influencing Live World. Are we on the right track?”

“Keep on trucking, Adrian Baby.”

 “Fine, so who?”

 “I have no idea...” I started to say but then...”Hold on, it’s your bloody wife Sarah, who’s mixed up in this again!”

Chapter 8: The College Dean has a fantastical theory

“It is really quite special isn’t it?”

“I’m afraid I don’t follow you Dean, is it something that I’ve missed?”

“No, no not at all dear lady, I was musing aloud. But all this is quite special – the garden, the sky, the greens, the blues, us and all that make up this planet of ours. It is so very, very special.”

I was none the wiser, and I thought it best to let him free wheel and see where his thoughts rested.

“You know, John’s more recent discovery – about the two way traffic of information – fascinating isn’t it. They think it was initiated by the initial blast of energy from the “Boltzqubit” – that’s what started this “conversation” as John likes to call it.”…….

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