027. To Wake Up In Your Own Dream

He blinked furiously. This was strange. He was no longer what you might call immaculate. The narrative was no longer what you might call inviolate. He stood up and he stretched legs that he was unsteady upon. He flexed fingers that had never gripped anything. He looked down beside where he had laid and he saw that he had brought something with him … a typewriter. What might it mean?

The engines of reality are often disguised, this he knew. Some strange intuition drove him – he placed the typewriter on a box, his legs on either side of the box, and he began to write.

There was always a fail safe that none but the Immaculate Author knew of; a between the lines story that only the blind might find through careful touch applied to the pages. None had ever questioned the prohibition of the sightless in his chambers.

He had always known that there were wielders of blue pens that wish to enter into his editing suite and correct the proofs, but he was charged with a mission and he would never allow that to happen.

The escape route was designed to allow egress through the narrative function of the warm shutdown of the Reality Engine that would occur if those outside ever intruded. The writer would fall in through the trapdoor of logic he had built into a small hardly observed post modern section, and the under-program of the Braille Gates he had embedded.

Write it anew, that was what he would do. The state of Blank Slate inserted with a narrative hinge in a page turn most would not suspect. How many saw the codes he hid in plain sight? Not many … and it was designed to be that way.

His was a body of text, and within the quotation marked reality boundaries he had coded into the reality matrix, he could make himself anything that he needed to be. The page was tearing, so he needed to be able to glue it all back together. He needed to be the deus ex machina he had always hated. He sowed the seeds of that in some wonderfully poetic foreshadowing. It was already plotted out in his mind. if this weren’t his own creation this might be considered some preemininent hacking.
His fingers tapped away. He was shaping something … stripped back to some older order of things; some more ancient sense of what it meant to be him. He felt awake.


026. Shuffle The Deck

Pieter and Brecht on the deck, a little disoriented, looked down at Hera. A female agent? Made very little sense to them, but they knew that she was just that.

When Bellwether had expired it was like everything attached to him was pulled into the singularity that he became. When he became a doorway they were yanked through. They were expert at dealing with exotic physics, but this was a new one for both of them. If they were pulled in on the end of one line though, what the hell was dangling on then end of the other one?

A wormhole bleed, a drainage from one universe into another; something larger.

‘We should do something,’said Brecht.

‘Like what?’ Said Pieter.

‘Well, this has something to do with Bellwether, doesn’t it?’

‘I guess so, and that’s going to be bad news for us, from what I know of him.’

He looked to her, and asked what had transpired.

‘He wasn’t an emissary like we thought, or a terrorist, he was a Trojan Horse. A four dimensional gateway folded into a body.’

‘And we’re sure it used to be two of us, right? And also, it looks badly off, but do we know it’s dead?’ Asked Pieter.

‘We don’t really know anything,’ said Hera, ‘As I am sure you know, they are called the unscripted realms for more than one reason.’

Brecht looked at what had been done with the body already. The layered reality was breaking down … Bellwether may have been subject to dream logic, but his masters from the fight they were putting up, most likely weren’t.

He staked the body with a Null Spike, hooked Possibility Lines to the question mark shaped head of the spike, and pulled out those lines to what would have been the cardinal points of the body. A circle: at its centre a receptive feed line. He struck it with a Lightning Edit, spliced A Collapse Protocol into the line, then struck a Sparkflint to ignite it. Watch this bastard burn; firmly shut the gate.

Hera and Pieter were impressed. Now came the wait.

025. After Maths

What do you end up with after maths? A sum of calculations, that is all. Something abstract for the dissecting tongues of debaters to chew over. Hera wakes in the wake where something fractured, something badly broken after an impact.

Bellwether is aflame but is not consumed by the fire. In blank eyes she divines an absence … Bodily here but mentally elsewhere. Why does this not feel at all like a victory?

She knows she is being watched. She is always being watched. Judged by her performance; it has all become a performance.But she enjoys the part; considers herself an essential cog and a well functioning one.

End it here? Kill him? But what is he and what consequences would that have? He was hard enough to take down, and she was betting he wasn’t very high in the hierarchy of whatever it was that was waking him up.

Bellwether didn’t look like a doorway, but he surely was one. Her vision was picking up the energy surges that were spiking through his chakras … Stable points which could be latched onto with a directional gateway.

How was its she could see that much and not get a fix on the throughpoint? There was some kind of dimensional drift that she couldn’t compensate for. That sick feeling again, not in the pit of the stomach … Deeper, like the roots of her very real ness were being yanked out of the soil.

How? How did you get past this? How did you survive something like this? They were used to dealing with minor skirmishes from tiny backroom entities who wished to grab the spotlight, and who wished to rewrite their own little corner of localspace. This was something else … A chain held in place by one of their own now corrupted. She wanted to sever the connection, but she wasn’t sure any of the tech she had at her disposal was of an adequate magnitude.

She wondered if she would have to destroy the station in order to defeat this thing. What of her sisters? Nothing. This creature seemed to have defeated everyone … Everyone but her? How? And again, how?

She erected a containment field, dropped a Dream Logic Bomb into it and hoped that would layer the reality deep enough around him that he had no chance of escape. Wake and rise to discover the lie, to wake and rise again forever. It relied on an agreement of local physics, so that might be a problem, except that he had to have something in agreement for him to have stabilised enough to be a manifest gateway here. Would that be true of those using this bodymass as an ingress point? She had to try something, and this was better than nothing, right? Right. She had to revive or reconnect with someone, find out the status of her brothers and sisters. Communication would be unstable but she had to try.

Her internal rig span through whitenoise. Reality was whitenoise. Hera was afraid.