Chapter 10: The Real Dead disappears, Rabbits by the million and Dave and Adrian exit Dead World.
“What has Sarah to do with this? How can she be responsible for this energy flow? It’s nonsense.”
Adrian was not happy I could tell. I tried to calm him down – not very successfully, I’m afraid.
“I’m not saying she’s directly responsible. She’s the common factor. It’s as if because of her all this is happening.”
That set him off.
“Thanks, Dave what you’re saying is that without my wife none of this would be happening.”
“No, I don’t mean that. She’s a catalyst – you know – is necessary for a chemical reaction but remains unchanged. Someone, something in Live World is making these changes – trying to scupper Dead World and the core. I believe Sarah knows whoever it is making these changes. She may not know what they’re doing but she knows them.”
“Well where does that get us?”
“I don’t know.”
I had to admit I couldn’t see how Sarah fitted in to the whole scheme but I just felt she must do somehow. There was Fritz’s prediction, there was her involvement in the quantum computer project and she was married to Adrian. Finally, out of the millions of Read Dead we happened to hitch a ride with the one known to Sarah. It was all too much of a coincidence. Even Adrian had to acknowledge that.
In the meantime things were getting pretty lively. It was clear that a major change was happening to the core and we were stuck right in the middle of it.
The Real Dead had stopped falling into the core. Instead the core was expanding – like a red giant star and as it did so it ate up the stationary Real Dead.
The Near Dead remained unaffected just like us, but the Real Dead exploded into millions of pieces and the minute particles were blown out into the surrounding Dead World and to permeate Live World.
“Yeah, man it’s the beginning of Jerusalem. The saints go marching across the river Jordan into the Promised Land. Hallelujah.”
It was Rabbit, who had blacked up and was strumming a huge banjo.
“Do you think it’s having an effect?” I asked Adrian.
“You mean the energy flows? Well something happening here – even if it’s only a re-run of “The Black and White Minstrels Show”.
“Adrian, I’ve been thinking,” I said, “all Rabbit’s biblical references – is that just his way of talking or is there something more to it?”
“What do you mean?”
“Oh, I don’t know, a sort of battle between good and evil – with Dead World cast as the villain.”
“That’s an interesting idea. The atomised Read Dead are the saints seeping into Live World which is the Promised Land.”
It’s strange but up until then I’d never thought of our being in Dead World as anything other than that – an inexplicable experience. O.K. our status was something do to with quantum theory and probability – not that I understood much of that. I hadn’t tried to see it in any other terms – until now.
It wasn’t just that something or someone in Live World was hacked off with Dead World messing about with Live World. They or whatever was attempting to stop darkness and death invading it. By attacking the core they aimed to reverse the effect.
“Hey, rather too “Paradise Lost” for my liking.” Adrian said, “But you may be onto something. Then again, how do you explain us, the Real Dead and Briar Rabbit over there?”
“Well….I can’t and I can’t begin to understand why Dead World had it in for Live World, or why the core is a Bortzmann probability machine or how.. so many things… happen.”
For the first time I was feeling unbearably alone, frightened and lost. It was like a tidal wave overwhelming me. All the fears, all the unknowables and all the absurdities of our situation crashed in on my mind.
Up until then it had all be an adventure – and I believed that at the end of the day I’d be back in Live World. But now, that seemed so distant, across an imaginably vast and deep void. I felt myself envying the Real Dead – they were at least getting out of here, maybe doing something useful in Real World – like bringing salvation to Chingford and all of North East London.
It certainly needed it!
“Dave, what’s that over there?” Adrian pointed to a mass of white moving towards us through the distended core.
“It looks like a huge fluffy white cloud.”
“The cloud” drew nearer to us and as it did resolved itself into millions of tiny white dots. We just stared, motionless as the tiny white dots grew larger and larger until they filled the whole of our vision.
“Well, the time has arrived to join my brothers.” Rabbit had cleaned his face up and got rid of his banjo.
“What do you mean?” asked Adrian, “What brothers?”
And sure enough the white dots turned out to be millions upon millions of identical white Rabbits.
“You’re right; I’d never have tracked you down using my set counting method.”
Why that popped into my mouth I’ll never know. All I felt was a huge sense of relief and well being at seeing this multitude.
“A celestial army of angels?” Adrian enquired.
“Something like that, although I like to think of us as the Easter Bunny Brigade. Not your usual furry bundle of fun I grant you.”
“You’re leaving us?” I asked without any sense of fear or abandonment.
“You could say that”
“Because, it’s over, the tide has turned – an answer has been received.”
As he was talking the Rabbit unpacked a set of wings from his bag and attached them to his back.
“The energy flow from Live World - that was the response you were waiting for?” I asked
“And now, everything will be O.K.?”
“Maybe, at least it won’t get any worse. Who knows, you might find the gods walking amongst you.”
Adrian looked directly at the Rabbit.
“That sounds very familiar.” He said. “Just one thing before you go, why the wise cracks, the jokes, the fancy dress?”
“That’s simple, I like a laugh.”
Our Rabbit then began to flap his wings, as did the millions and millions of other Rabbits. As he hovered above us, he got out his huge watch and calculator.
“Yep, that looks about right, the winds in the right direction.” He turned and headed towards the massed ranks of fur.
“Have fun”. And he was gone – just one of a multitude of bunnies.
“What did he mean by that?” Adrian asked, but before I could think of answer we were engulfed by flying fur as the millions of Rabbits, all white and shiny, flew past us heading towards the centre of the core.
Soon all they were was a white cloud, getting smaller and smaller. And then they stopped – the cloud grew blindingly bright and in an instant a silent golden shockwave rushed out to meet us. It caught us up and we found ourselves flying away from the core; which now had contracted and was shining with a golden light which infused all of Dead World.
We continued to be borne on the shock wave, moving further and further from the bright golden core until it was a mere spot.
We weren’t alone; all the Near Dead were carried along on the golden wave until after a life time, an eon, a nano second we came to rest. To the left and to the right as far as the eye could see were the Near Dead like us.
“Hey Dave, what do you think going to happen next?”
“Adrian, I don’t know, but I’m sure it’ll be fine.”
I was aware of a couple of Near Dead close to me, and as I turned to look at them they began to fade. At first slowly, but then more rapidly until they vanished with what I can only describe as a visual “pop”.
“Adrian, did you see that?”
“Yes. Dave! Dave! What’s happening to you?”
I tried to reply but couldn’t. Adrian began to fade and Dead World receded as I sped across a limitless void.
Chapter 11: Dave’s dreams come true and angels sing
The tube had just pulled out of the station and I started to read “The Independent”. Unusually for the Indy the front page carried a real red top story. It was about sightings of “angels” and “gods” from all over the globe. The paper had dug up some professor of psychiatry to explain these sightings which along with local brightening of the skies were attracting massive media attention.
As I read the story a sense of excitement and anticipation welled up within me. I couldn’t explain why I was feeling that way…….