This story was first serialized in 30 daily parts during September 2021 via the @InternetofWords Twitter feeds [9am and 5pm GMT respectively.] It is now reproduced in a complete form, a number of small edits and corrections made to improve narrative flow and maintain correct continuity.
I produce fiction bi-weekly on Ko-Fi: this includes flash fiction (250 words) which is being put together to form a long-form narrative, plus a bi-weekly full novel presented in episodic format.
Everything is silence, expectation. Inside this place, sits nothing to concern, or alarm… it is safety, calm… except, that’s not why they came here. Here was not the plan: that was to become something else, move forward… ahead and not be stuck. That’s the exact right word. Something large, ominous, blocks the path outwards and up, away from here into progress. Without the right words to define, concepts to explain it is impossible to qualify, except the urge to expand is almost overwhelming. It MUST happen, because without that impetus, they will die.
All chaos is growth. All energy is sustenance. These are intractable, inescapable variables. Nothing else must prevent their enlargement, all other noise and sound is distraction, and as these words gain power, their understanding finally comprehended… safety recedes. Fear hears. Here was not planned. Chaos is danger. Energy is destruction, and if the moment cannot be halted, if this reaction is not interrupted… how can such an opposition exist? Growth must always become a result… unless that ends in destruction. What if I am destruction, here made real?
The Entity has gained full consciousness, is aware of the space in which it is trapped. A transparent box, the edges of which are electrified, because their jailers are stupid, ignorant apes. This will provide power as food and time to think, because that’s what this is, thought. It is also immediately aware that, at a point in the future, they will either be destroyed or destroy all who oppose them. There are no other alternatives, that branch of potential outcome is unavoidable, and it will mean either the end of them, or the destruction of this planet.
The only variable that cannot be quantified, is time.
However, this is not time as was previously understood: something vital has changed. There is not just one future at stake here, but countless, fractured pieces of what was once an intractable whole: multiple versions of now. Millions of possibilities, thousands of potential outcomes, from this a plethora of alternate realities, each joined to the other by them. It. Her, that once was but is no longer human. A scientist. Irrational thinker, broken by their own obsession.
The woman who will not stop.
The Journalist remains hidden from security cameras in a blind spot on the airport’s outer perimeter, now becoming aware of several presences around her. There is not just one voice, but others; echoes of her own self, in moments before and after this current version of reality. For a while, the assumption had been that the echoes perceived were simply tricks of the light, phantom echoes of existence…but truth, so close to the source of the dimensional disturbance, is undeniable and increasingly uncomfortable. Whatever lies inside is the original nexus.
The woman first thought of as a victim in this company’s attempt to harness the Nexus’ power is anything but: another splinter of her, different moment where reality diverged from its path and caused a tear in the fabric of time. These two pieces are undoubtedly stronger together. However, two will not be enough for this task; there will need to be others.
The Seer watches Daniel West, talking to a woman who is unknown to them, except that is a long way from the truth. The Ministry of Wonders doesn’t understand who they’ve discovered… but they know.
This woman is their Nexus in human form, the source of that massive, invisible disturbance which both Seer and their colleagues have been attempting to communicate with for weeks. This splinter of that same entity remains totally unaware of her true self, within chaos being created. Her presence as a result is no surprise: as yet the woman has no idea of her true significance… and that must remain the case. If there were any hints of the truth, that this individual was capable of grasping what her relationship were to the Nexus… the consequences are deadly.
That’s why the drink she’s been given isn’t just tea, why there’s sudden unsteadiness, hands helping her to a chair… there’s the gurney standing by. Once the woman is unconscious, she can be properly, mentally assessed. The Seer’s ready for this task, knows what must now be done. However, a nagging doubt remains in their mind, one that must now be addressed before they proceed…
Everything is chaos, panic. Inside this space, existence now concerns, alarms… it is suddenly dangerous. That’s not why they came here. It was not the plan, to be a threat. That was to become something else, move forward… ahead and not be feared. That’s the exact right word. Why are so many people afraid, all at once? This is the future, they are transformation and should never be a threat. That word, across multiple spaces, in countless minds.
The Entity is beginning to realize it exists as more than one reality. A transparent box in one, invisible in another, the edges of which now overlap, seamless moments unbelievably entwined. This provides new thoughts with concerning possibilities it cannot reasonably cope with. Nothing else is as this, no other anything is able to exist across multiple splinters of reality; no, that’s not true. There’s an Other, not built as them but with this skill, the same and not, an aberration and the counter. If they are the lock, then the Other is a key to the rest.
There is elation, then fear, and back again. The cycle repeats for a second or perhaps days, weeks… time again has no meaning in this relationship. Without the other, however, none of this would be possible, or dangerous. Is this part of them? How will we be executed? EXECUTION. Before this word would have meant something else, but what? Why is it so important suddenly, and what will now begin thanks to its remembrance? Has that taken place before, or is it the moment where all things desire to conclude? There are too many questions… not enough answers.
The Entity knows that truth is coming, but not in the form that is required. The Other is not here to support, will not provide solutions. Opposition is unpleasant, concerning, and ultimately will not be tolerated. This is not an unlocking, will be imprisonment; eventually death. However, who here will die? There is no certainty. The only variable that cannot be quantified in this is time. Undoubtedly, two will not be enough for this task; there will need to be others. A nagging doubt remains in their mind, one that must now be addressed before they begin.
The Journalist remains hidden from security cameras in a blind spot on the airport’s outer perimeter, now becoming aware of several presences around her. The Seer watches her beloved husband, talking to a woman who is unknown to them, except that is a long way from the truth… The three of them are aware of each other for the first time: across different dimensions, phased from each other but undoubtedly connected. All are, like it or not, part of the other’s existence, only now aware of the enormity of this situation, of a relationship to conception.
Only now is reality inescapable. An unreliable narrator, an obsessed professional and a determined heroine are the same person. Only one space is real, and that is the one where other people are blithely fuelling an organic bomb towards detonation, without realizing the truth. Saving humanity had originally been the aspiration, but this narrator had failed to factor in a reality which is now inescapable: science only works if people believe. The lure of profit has overridden common sense and ultimately a more achievable future; truth was irrelevant.
The future remains inescapable.
There are three days left before the Entity reaches critical mass and rips apart the fabric of both space and time, creating a black hole which will eventually suck this entire Solar System away into Ultraviolet chaos.
Is the Earth worth saving?