052. Final Symbol Crash

‘Who’s this, Quint?’

‘This is Plum. He is the person responsible for the multiversal temporal disruption. He’s an Immovable Editor, and he slowed down our old friend, Spay. He tells me he exploded a metaphorm Dandelion Clock, and that hit all of Reality. He also told me that he comes from a higher level, and before he got shot in the head, he had come here to help get everything back on track.’

‘So, he can fix this?’

‘Well, not know, no. But, here’s the thing, he created this little pocket universe we’re in so that I could snag you from the soup and so we could reinsert you into whatever it is out there.’

‘Where are we really, Quint?’

‘This place? Oh well, let me break that down for you. This used to be known as The Tower Of London. We sent a man called Jon Presley back to a point where you didn’t have to do much to get into The Tower and while he was in there he retrofitted it with Metaphor Tech. It was discovered a few hundred years later by a relative of Beaujolais, who turned it into a Needle; a Needle that will become known as Thirteen’s Needle. Thirteen’s Needle gets turned into The Pinnacle, and when The Pinnacle Fell, the rumour is that it became the original Walking House.’

‘And now?’

‘Well they turned it into a snailshell that Mr Plum used to wear when he was part of the Homeplus Program.’

‘So, he ascended?’

‘He surely did.’

‘Yes, I did. Often, and some of you who work within the system fail to see this – the system creates a mechanism within it, that it then expels, but which it has embedded with the programming necessary to save it.’

‘You, Plum?’

‘And you, Mr Brecht.’

‘Where are you going to drop me?’

‘Oh, we think you’ll recognise it.’

Carter smiled. He sat down on the park bench and he watched the ripples as they spread across the pond, and the folded back across the motion of their own wake. He reached into his pocket and yanked out two dozen things that looked like marbles, and in a pinwheeling motion that was a lot more accurate than anyone watching him would ever have believed, he flung these little objects outwards. They were attuned to him and the distances where they would stop and bed down were programmed in, so it was a bit of cheat. Still, it looked cool. They were Narrative Pins and they would hold the place static within a predetermined time-frame. With everything in place, all his tools powering up … it was time to go to work. He looked at his watch out of habit.

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