Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Dancer in the Infinite - Chapter 86 - The End

Chapter 86  Plan B

Matter is plastic in the face of Mind. – Philip K. Dick


     They both fell with a hard thud.  If they were both still mortal they would have died instantly, but neither still fit that description.  Nonetheless both still got the air knocked out of them and lay sprawled on the ground for a few moments.  Once they realized that they were in fact unhurt by their plunge they slowly rose to their feet, regarding each other with quiet hatred.

     The evil Marie then noticed their surroundings and laughed, a bit manically, Marie thought.

     “Do you realize where we are, my sister from across universes?” the crazy Marie asked.

     “No, bitch, where are we?”

     “We’re at the site of my final victory!”  She continued her mad laughter.  “Your pitiful attempt to kill me has failed!  And now you shall witness the fall of the last world in all the universes to holdout against me!”

     They were on a blackened and scorched world with a bright orange sky filled with an armada of imposing spaceships looming above them.

     “Yeah, or not,” said Marie confidently.

     “What do you mean?  How can you stop me here?  There is just you and I have an army.  Look up!  Look around you!  This is your doom!  Do you not see it?”

     “Yeah, I’m not that impressed honestly,” Marie replied nonchalantly.

     “Then you’re a fool!” screamed the mad Marie.

     “Or you are.  Oh, look, here come my friends.” Marie pointed out to her.

     And around them they appeared….millions and millions of hyperdimensional lemurs, chattering, hopping, and whooping with frenzied delight.

     “What are they doing here?” asked the evil Marie with great concern.

     “Here?”  Marie replied, “But we’re not here anymore.  We’re Elsewhere.  Look.  Now where’s your armada? “

     Marie smiled as she watched her deranged twin look about in the safety orange colored heavens searching for the space ships which had been about to deliver the final blow to the last bit of resistance.

     “Where did they go?  This is a trick!” she screamed again, more insanely than before.

     “It’s no trick.  They’re right where they were.  But, my friends and I moved the planet to a region in the interstitial transdimensional boundary.  You and your conquest of the multiverse are finished, you crazy fucking bitch.”  Marie said in triumph.

     And just then Bruce materialized around the other Marie and consumed her in one gulp of his vague blueish form. 

“How’d I do, Marie?” he asked.

     “You did great, Bruce, just great.”

     “Now what do you need me to do?” the Blue blob asked.

     “Now, my friend, we’re going to open a bar.  We have a convention to host.”

     She called out to the surrounding lemurs, “Thanks guys!  Give us a couple of minutes, and drinks are on me!”


The End

copyright 2017 Diana Hignutt

A Dancer in the Infinite - Chapter 85

Chapter 85 At the Top of the Cubservies Falls

But oh, beamish nephew, beware of the day,
If your Snark be a Boojum! For then
You will softly and suddenly vanish away,
And never be met with again!
  - Lewis Carroll


     The very top of the Cubservies Waterfall is a rocky bluff.  A few scattered springs of broom, and a solitary scrub oak tree, its roots dug into the crevices in the hard stone are all that populate its height.  It is impossible to even see the falls from even the most daring ledge, as the cliff faces are so shear and high.  The fall’s roar of rushing water is so loud it drowns out almost all other sound, not even the blustery early November gusts can be heard above its sound.

     Both Marie’s manifested simultaneously on the uneven rocky precipice, almost five hundred feet aloft.  The evil Marie had an expression mixed with both distain and triumph.

     “I got your message obviously,” she said.  “I’m impressed that you figured out so quickly how to the word out across the multiverse to me.  But, I’m here.”

     “Yeah, I can see that, Marie.  I’m not as stupid as you seem to think I am.”

     “Oh, I don’t think you’re stupid at all, Marie.  You’re the second best of us.  But, since there’s only the two of us left in all the universe, I guess that isn’t saying as much as I intend.  I apologize.  I really hold you in the highest regard.  No other Marie Brabant has ever come as close to my power as you have.  I’m really am, as I said, quite impressed.”


     “Don’t mention it.” The evil Marie replied.  “Now, let’s get down to business…I do after all have a multiverse to conquer…and I don’t have all day.”  She looked around their surroundings and admired the view.  “Nice place for a meeting, by the way, but you can see the falls better from that overlook over there in the hamlet of Cubservies, you know.”

     “I like it better here,” Marie said blandly and without emotion.  “So let’s talk about the terms of surrender you offered me.  Are they still on the table?”
     At this the other Marie’s face lit up and a broad smile spread.  “Your own universe, free of me and my Toxies, to do as you please?  Of course, nothing would please me more, Marie.  As I said, I feel a certain sisterly affection for you and I’ve cleared out all the other Maries, so you’re free to take your pick from thousands of universes.  Have you decided with you want a universe with a better Roger, or perhaps you’re more interested in Barry now…that’s what Wally said.  Anyway, I can change things however you like them…my power is growing immeasurably…I am nearly a goddess already…and soon I shall be supreme.”

     “Whoa there, cowgirl,” Marie said wryly.  “Hold your horses.  I would like to make a counter offer.”

     Marie could tell, the other Marie had gone quite insane.  Her confidence was absolute.  Her guard was down.  She was so convinced of her own supremacy, so imagined no danger to herself.  Perfect.  Did she ever hear Mike’s warning in the Temple?  Did she remember it, if she did hear it?  Marie supposed she find out in just a minute.

     “What counter offer?  My terms are quite generous, I thought,” the evil Marie remarked with some indignation.

     “This one,” Marie replied as she ran as fast as she could at her mad dopleganger.  She threw herself at her with all her strength, and whatever superhuman momentum she could gain before she contacted her adversary.  Marie grabbed her villainous other-dimensional twin as she lunged at her and pulled her off her feet, taking both of them over the ledge of the cliff and down the falls.

     Marie held her as long as she could before the force of gravity and the powerful force of the water of the roaring falls caught her leg and pulled them apart.

     Damn it, Marie thought as she lost her grip on the evil Marie.  Time for Plan B.

copyright 2017 Diana Hignutt

A Dancer in the Infinite - Chapter 84

Chapter 84 Spreading the Word


     I get by with a little help from my friends – John Lennon and Paul McCartney


     “I’m back!” she announced to a startled Phil, who was still drinking the oily liquid from the saucer before him as she manifested in her chair at their table.

Phil spat a little in his startled surprise.

     “You know, you make everybody else do that outside.”

     “Yeah, that makes sense…but it is my place, right?”

     “Of course it is,” he agreed, “But it still doesn’t make it right popping in and out and startling people half to death.”

     “Sorry bout that, Phil.”

     “Ah, that’s okay…so, the multiverse safe yet?”

     “Not quite yet, my friend, not quite yet.  Three more things to do, first.  And by the way, if this doesn’t work…we’ll never meet and I’ll never again a chance to tell you this, but you’re probably the best friend I’ve ever had, when I needed a friend the most, and it’s been an honor, sir.  A great honor to share a friendship with you.”

     Was the little robotic centipede choked up?  He trouble getting his words out, “Um…likewise…every since you saved my life all those years ago…you have been the greatest being I have ever met.  But, do you really think things won’t work out.  I mean you’re Marie Brabant.  You’re like practically all-powerful and all…how could you lose?  Who exactly are you battling against to save the universe?”


     Marie stood up and cleared her throat.  “Everybody!  Can I have your attention, please?”

     The music stopped the screens went blank and all eyes and various sensory organs turned to her.

     “First, I’d like to thank you all for coming, both new visitors and regulars…it is you that have made Elsewhere the success it is today.  I could not have done it without you all.  I am truly grateful to you all.”

     A warm murmur came over the bar, and shouts of “Marie!” and Hear! Hear! And a Huzzah! Filled the room for a moment or two.  Marie waved them all to quiet.

     “Thank you!  That said, Elsewhere and in fact the very Multiverse are facing their greatest challenges since the very beginnings of either.  It is very likely that within just a few minutes, Elsewhere will cease to exist, and the Multiverse will be overrun by a single source of all consciousness…essentially…we will all die.”

     Shocked gasps now spread across the assembellage.

     “It’s okay though…I have a plan that can save us all, the very Multiverse, and, of course, this bar…but, I’m going to need all of your help.”

     Impassioned calls of “Whatever you need, Marie!” and “You can count on us!” and “We won’t let you down” now echoed throughout Elsewhere’s spacious confines.

     “I know you won’t.  That’s why I’m confident that we can win the day in this great battle for Eternity itself, for Individuality, for Life, for Freedom, for…Everything!” she raised her voice with great enthusiasm and all were enrapt in her words.

     “Now,” she said. “This is what I need you to do…I need everyone…except the lemurs…I have a special job for you guys.  But…I need the rest of you to spread the word …however you can…across the dimensions, to every reality you can access…leave notes…tell everyone you know…that I’m looking for Marie Brabant….”

     Now everyone was looking at her with cocked visual appendages and or eyes.

     “That’s right, I’m looking for the only other Marie Brabant left in existence.  We need to talk.  I’m willing to negotiate with her.  And she’s to meet me in Languedoc.  At the top of the Cubservies Cascades.  Just her and me.  No tricks.  No Toxies.  Just the two of us.  And we’re going to settle this little game of ours. Once and for all.”

     “Oh,” Marie added, “Where’s Bruce?  I have special job for him too.”

copyright 2017 Diana Hignutt

A Dancer in the Infinite - Chapter 83

Chapter 83 The Right Jenkins


Codes play a previously unsuspected role in equations that possess the property of supersymmetry. This unsuspected connection suggests that these codes may be ubiquitous in nature, and could even be embedded in the essence of reality. If this is the case, we might have something in common with the Matrix science-fiction films, which depict a world where everything human beings experience is the product of a virtual-reality-generating computer network. – James Gates



     Back to the Egg Room, but this time as like the last few trips to fallen Castle Wonderlands, she wasn’t in the Egg.  But unlike those other times, the Egg was not there, but Barry, Stan, Jackie, and Doctor Who all were.  And all alive.

     Before anyone could speak, Luke came into the room, “We’ve got some kind of weird readings on the Mawacky and then it died….”

     And then they all saw her.

     “Marie!” Shouted all five of them at once.  Barry came running up to her and hugged her.

     “She’s back!  You made it!”

     “Where’s the Egg?” asked Stan “how did you come back without the Egg?”

     “I don’t need the Egg anymore, Stan.”

     Doctor Who hurried over with Jackie in tow, and attempted to check her pulse or whatever, Marie shrugged him away.  “Thanks, but I’m fine, Doc.”

     “But…how could you not need the Egg anymore after only two minutes in one trip?” Stan continued.  “How?”

     “One trip?  Yeah, I guess, that’s what it would seem like to you all.”  Agreed Marie.  “But I’ve made a helluva lot more than one trip, I can tell you that much.”

     Barry released her from his hug, Marie smiled at him, “It’s good to see you too, Bar.”

     Jenkins then came into the room, with Dutchy following like a puppy dog.

     “Ah,” said Marie, “Just the man I need to see.”

     “But, but…” Stan insisted, “You have to tell us where you’ve been off to…you’re saying you made more than one trip?”

     “Yep, that’s what I’m saying,” Marie assured him.

     “Luke’s right, by the way,” said Jenkins, “The Mawacky is offline or something…we’ve stopped getting signals from our colleagues.”

     “That is because, they’re all dead, I’m afraid,” Marie explained.

     “Dead?” blumbered Stan, “How could thousands of versions of us in other universes all die all at once?”

     “Marie Brabant killed them.”

     They all looked at her in horror, their eyes wide their jaws slack.

     “Not me, the other one.”

     “Well, there’s a lot more than one,” Barry corrected her.

     “Not anymore…there’s just two of us,” Marie said, “The first one and the last one.  I’m the last one.  Look I don’t know how much time we have, but I do know she will probably come here and kill us all very soon, if she gets a chance with Wally’s help, of course, but honestly, I’m not sure she really needs it anymore.”

     “How could…?”  Stan began.

     “I’ll explain it all later, Stan, if we survive the next couple of hours,” Marie assured him, “but right now, I need to talk to the Right Jenkins.”

     “The Right Jenkins?” Jackie asked.

     “Yep, and he’s been right here in front of my eyes the whole time…I just didn’t realize it.  Can we go to your office, doc?”

     “Of course, of course,” Jenkins agreed.

     “Oh, and everyone else…you should all get the fuck off out of here and off this mountain now, before Wally shows up with his army of infected and kills you all.  I’ve seen it happen too many times now, I can’t bear to see it again…not to you.  And Jackie…don’t forget to take Virgil with you.”

     “That’s crazy,” exclaimed Stan, “What makes you think we’re in any danger, we’ve been working here for fourteen years.”

     “I won’t leave you,” said Barry to Marie.

     “Yes, you will,” Marie told Barry in a command.  “You have to.  Or you will all die.  I’ve seen it at least fifty times now.  That much I can stop.”

     “And you, Stan,” Marie said, “It’s over.  The Mawacky won’t work anymore…there isn’t anyone else to talk to out there…or no one who’s willing to talk to you.”

     “But…we have to man the Mawacky at all times…” he complained.

     “No, you don’t…” she said plainly.  “The Freezer will still work, you can all come back and tinker with that if you like…in just a couple of days…if my plan works….you might even be able to rig the Mawacky to talk to other hyperdimensional entities out there…but the easy days of talking to yourselves across the universes are over…you’re all dead…everywhere but here…at least for now…I suppose you make enough decisions in a few weeks more of you will be created…so…yeah..okay… but there are a lot of more interesting people to talk to out there…you have no idea…but no more Egg, it’s too dangerous.”

     “But, Rian…” Stan whined…”we can’t just listen to her…all our work”

     “Go, get out of here, you heard her,” Jenkins commanded, “Now.  I’ll call you all when the cost is clear.”

     “And if he doesn’t call you,” said Marie, “it’s because the Multiverse as you know it, including this world…is about to end.  So, you’ll know to make whatever arrangements you have to make.  Go, Wally isn’t going to warn us this time, he’ll be here as soon as she senses that I’ve returned.”

     “Who senses?” Jackie asked.

     “The other Marie Brabant, the first one, the evil one.”  Marie turned to Jenkins, “To your office Dr. Jenkins?”

     “Yes, yes, of course, let’s go”

     Marie grabbed Barry and planted a kiss on his lips, “Stay safe,” she whispered.  “You and I have some unfinished business, Mr. Allen.”  And with that she followed Jenkins out the door to the Freezer.

     She was happy to see all the grad students and even Dr. Helmer all there, with Renee hunched under one of the server panels.

     “Did it work,” asked Brenda.

     “Yep,” Marie answered coyly.  And she and Jenkins went quietly the stone staircase around and around until they came to the third floor where Jenkins office was.  He held the door open for her, indicated a chair for her to take a seat in and closed the door behind them.  He walked around his desk and sat down.

     “So, Marie, what are we to talk about?  And why did you say I was the Right Jenkins?”

     “Because Dr. Jenkins…” she began.

     “No, not Dr. Jenkins, please call me Rian.  I have a feeling I’m the one who should be showing you the respect now.”

     “Okay, then Rian….because a hyperdimensional lemur told me that the right Jenkins knew what I needed to know in order to save the Multiverse from the evil Marie Brabant.  And I know now that you are he…the Right Jenkins.  And I even know what it is that you know about that can help us stop her from taking over everything throughout all everywhere.”

     “You’re saying that I know all this?  I hate to doubt you, but I can’t see how…I’m not the expert of MWI, that’s Stan.”

     “MWI is very cool, but it misses the real point actually.  The truth of the matter is that you and the Cathars were right.”

     “I didn’t know I shared any beliefs with the Cathars, I am an atheist after all.”

     “Are you, are you really?  See, I don’t think you are exactly.  You’re real interest is the Simulation Hypothesis isn’t it?”

He looked surprised.  “How could you know that?”
     “I’ve met a couple of you that were working along those lines…but you’re the one with the information I need to defeat her.  Her Jenkins gave her the clues to all this…and that’s what really started this mess…but he didn’t know what you know…and now you and I are going to finish it.”
     “If you say so, Marie, but you does seem hard to believe.”
     “Harder to believe than sending someone across the dimensions?  Really, Rian?”
     He laughed, “Okay, I see your point. But what do I and the Cathars have in common?”
     “You’re both proponents of the Simulation Hypothesis,” Marie answered.
     “I think it’s rather a newer idea than they would have been exposed to.”
     “Think so?  Well as I understand it they believed that this reality was in fact an illusion, a false creation made by an evil God that exists within the larger creation of the Ultimate God.  If you think about it, is that really vastly different than the concept of a living in a simulation?”
     “Damn!  That never once occurred to me!”
     “It’s not surprising really, why would a scientist, a cutting edge scientist look back to ancient beliefs and offer them even a slightest thought?  I get it.”
     Jenkins leaned forward excited, “Wow!”
     “Exactly.  I have a feeling that the whole Cathar religion as well as Gnosticism in general was a message to us, an important message that is going to help us figure this shit out.  So, can you summarize the whole thing again…the basics of simulation theory?”
     “Oh, yeah, sorry, it was another version of you that first told me about it.”
     “Ah, I see.  Well, one of the first theories came in the form of a thought experiment by a fellow named Nick Bostrom.  It goes something like this.  One day technology will advance to the point where people or whatever comes after people are capable of running ancestor simulations to study the behavior of those who came before them.  Supposing this does happen, then most likely it already has happened, and we are in fact living in such a simulation, though completely unaware of it.  Taken further, if this were true, then the odds are that there is a very large number of nested simulations…that is to say simulations inside simulations…with unimaginable numbers of nested simulations between here and what Bostrom calls the Basement Reality.”
     “Basement?  Because that’s the bottom?  So, turtles all the way down?”
     He smiled in excitement, “Yes, exactly.  I hadn’t thought of that mystical notion either.  Now, the problem is one of computing power and energy consumption to run that many simulations.  And it’s equally possible that in addition to the vertical nesting of simulations, that multiple ancestor simulations or lateral simulations could be running concurrently within any one simulation.  Which, once again makes the whole thing seem impossible by the laws of thermodynamics.  Where’s the energy and computational power come from in the Basement Reality?  It would need infinite energy and infinite computational power.”
     “So, are you saying that MWI could simply be concurrent lateral simulations?”
     “Or vertical as well, I see no reason once you can move between lateral simulations you couldn’t move between vertical ones as well.”
     “I don’t see how that would be?”
     “Yes, it’s a tricky point for sure.  But then comes another question, and here’s where I differ from Bostrom…they don’t have to be ancestor simulations that’s just an assumption.  They could be recordings or interactive virtual realities in addition to simulations.  If they are virtual realities, then…it begs yet another question…are we merely avatars or are we sims?”
     “Shit,” said Marie, “That’s deep.”
     “Indeed it is.  This is why I started our project at Castle Wonderland to study those inbetween places…”
     “The interstitial transdimensional boundaries?”
     Jenkins laughed.  “Exactly.  I’d ask you how you knew that, but…it doesn’t matter…I imagine I told you in some universe or other.”
     “Yeah you and Barry, actually.”
     “Well, I believe that’s where the answer lies, that’s where the morphic fields seem exist and interact between the Many Worlds.  If we can study those places, we can look behind the curtain, as it were…and see the very nature…the true nature of reality.”
     “Okay, but…let’s go back to the energy and computational power problem….have you any idea how that could work?”
     “Well suppose the basement reality isn’t like the other simulated realities…though it is their source.  I have come to believe that the basement reality is simply energy and power itself….of infinite transcendental nature…and this is largely what the interstitial transdimensional boundaries are composed of…then the thermodynamic problem would go away.”
     “But, what’s to give everything else a basement then?  Why did the first regular simulation arise in the first place?”
     “But, there is no consciousness there…I’ve been there…lots of times…forever actually…it’s just light…and energy…the Ain Soph Aur as that old book The Veils of Negative Existence called it.”
     “And morphic fields that are, in a sense, transtemporal …meaning that time is irrelevant.”
     “I don’t get it.” Marie sighed, a little flustered.
     “Think, Marie, think.  We knew consciousness exists, right?”
     “And throughout the Multiverse, there’s lots and lots of it, right?”
     “So that has generated a strong consciousness morphic field that has permeated the Multiverse and…the interstitial transdimensional boundary…”
     “So you’re saying that….”
     “That consciousness itself created the first level simulation beyond the Basement Reality of the interstitial transdimensional boundary.”
     “Oh Fuck!  That’s what she’s trying to do!”
     “Who?  What?” asked Jenkins.
     “She’s trying to fill the Multiverse with her consciousness.  She created or adapted the Toxies.  She’s trying to become God of the Multiverse and direct all creation everywhere.”
     Jenkins leaned back in his chair and turned pale.  “Oh my God!  And she can do it too.”
     “She almost has,” Marie said.
     “What are we going to do?”
     “I’m going to stop her.  Or die trying.”
     Then she paused, “Wait, I have few last questions for you.”
     “First, you don’t have a family do you?”
     “No, my dear…there was this girl at Princeton though…”
     “Okay, okay.  And you weren’t part of the Ongs Hat Travel Cult, right?”
     “No, Stan is our connection to Chandler and them.”
     “Last question then…how did you get that copy of VALIS?
“Oh, Chandler told Stan he got it from you.”
copyright 2017 Diana Hignutt

A Dancer in the Infinite - Chapter 82

Chapter 82 Toulouse



Once word had spread to Rome that young Raymond had raised the Yellow Cross of the Cathars over Toulouse, Innocent wasted no time in excommunicating the young upstart.  In fact, he went so far as to remove all the Saint Gilles clan’s claims to all territory…ceding it all to Simon de Montfort.  Toulouse was to be the crown jewel in Simon’s new kingdom.  And, officially, it was already so.  However, in practice this proved a completely different matter.  All the Occitan nobles, the St. Gilles’, the Trencavels, the Foix’s all rushed to the defense of the young Count Raymond.  Though the pope had given Simon Toulouse, taking it was another matter entirely.

Complicating matters considerably was the fact that the young Raymond VII was not only an inspiring presence who completely reinvigorated the cause of the Occitan princes and their Cathar subjects, but he was proving to be a fierce warrior and a tactful general.  He stole victory after victory from Simon’s troops.  The Yellow cross banners once again fell from towers and fortresses all over Languedoc, throughout places that Simon had counted has conquered.  The tide was turning under the young rebel leader, the Occitans called the youthful Raymond, the Lamb of God, and in their stories he amassed evermore victories against the Lion de Montfort.  The Pope and Amaury were becoming impatient with Simon and the buzzing in his head grew ever more strident and bloodthirsty.  Simon knew what he had to do.  That which he should have done, but had not the courage, nor papal authority to undertake before.  Lay siege to Toulouse.

The siege was hard fought on both sides.  Both armies knew that this war determined the fates of all who fought in it.  Each side had learned from ten years of warfare with each other what strategems and devices, what counterattacks worked, and which did not.  Despite young Raymond’s reputation as the Lamb of Languedoc, his tactics were ruthless.  Any besiegers that were captured by the Toulousians had their eyes and tongues removed and were dragged around the city streets by horse, and left to be finished off by the dogs and crows.  Finally their hands and feet were removed and returned by trebuchet to their comrades’ base camp.  Raymond had learned a trick or two from Simon.

Simon was not to be outdone, however, and the buzzing in his head gave him an idea to break the siege before his men deserted him and his long campaign in Languedoc amounted to nothing.  He had his men built the greatest siege engine the world had yet seen…a monstrous cat, Simon called it.  It was a tall wheeled platform which was covered in animal hides and blood to keep it from burning from flaming arrows the defenders would rain upon it.  In the top, archers could shoot down into the fortified city and below, Simon’s engineers, under its protection could dig beneath the walls and breach them.

The Toulousians watched in horror as the cat was brought near their great city.  Raymond the Younger knew exactly what the cat meant.  This day was to be the deciding day.  All or nothing.  The cat would mean doom to Toulouse if it were allowed to draw near the walls.  Raymond had to risk assault directly on Simon’s forces and destroy the cat…or the Crusadors would destroy them.

And so it was that Raymond VII rode with his host of Occitan knights broke forth from the gates of Toulouse and rode out to join in this final battle for life or death.  No Northern crusader could stand against the fearsome wrath of Raymond.  Where his father had been a diplomat, Raymond was a warrior first and foremost.

Simon saw Raymond and his knights approach the cat, and took his fiercest men to intercept him personally.  Swords and axes fell.  Blood covered everyone near the cat that day.  Arrows flew.  The trebuchet’s rained rocks down from Toulouse onto the battlefield.  They were manned by women and girls, as Raymond had ordered every man and boy to the battle.

At last Simon neared Raymond.  They stared into each other’s eyes with deep hatred and bloodlust.  And then it happened.  A rock launched by two young girls found its target in Simon’s head, crushing both his helmet and his brain, knocking body from his horse, dead before he even hit the ground.

A stunned silence fell instantly over the battle.  Cheers rose from the defenders of Toulouse and all knew that the day was decided.  The cat was burned to the ground and the crusaders retreated from the battlefield.  Count Raymond VII had shown his defiance with a crucial victory.  The Abliginsian Crusade ended that day.

Sadly, for the Cathars and their defenders, as they celebrated their victory over their hated foe, Simon de Montfort, in Rome the Pope, a buzzing in his head, had decided upon a new stratagem to deal with the herectics of Languedoc.  And the Inquisition was born.

copyright 2017 Diana Hignutt

A Dancer in the Infinite - Chapter 81

Chapter 81  Back to the Bar


Where everybody knows your name… Gary Portnoy


     In just a moment, or was it an eternity, she was back in Elsewhere, the loud boisterous warmth of the place instantly surrounding her.  She found herself sitting at her table, as Phil had described it.  Phil patiently sitting across from her with what she now recognized as a friendly smile of his robotic, centipede face, with a happy wiggle of antennae.

     “Well, how’d it go?  Save the Multiverse yet, did you?”

     It only took her a second to focus on her new reality, and in that time, a shout of “Marie” went throughout the room.”

     She smiled and waved with a friendly good nature to the crowd.  Had she taught them that Cheers greeting? she wondered, before turning her attention to Phil.

     “I’m afraid I didn’t no.”

     “Well, that sucks,” replied Phil.  “We all doomed then?”  Well, not us, of course, we’re all perfectly safe here…you said so yourself.”

     “I did, huh?  Did I ever say why?”

     “Sure, lots of times, it’s that whole border of interstitial transdimensional boundary thing…we have going here.  At one time, this world was part of the multiverse, but now it isn’t.”

     “Okay, tell me what you know about it, as much as you can remember.”

     As she said those words Oustar was there with a glass of Rassberry Iced Tea, “Always wonderful to see you, Mistress Marie.”

     “Merci, Oustar” Marie answered, “You as well,” with a kind smile.  She meant it.  How much of her automatic responses were generated from morphic resonance she wondered idly for a moment?

     Oustar bowed warmedly, “Can I get you two anything else?”

     “Yeah,”  Marie answered, ‘you know I do love multidimensional cultural music, but I was wondering if we could get a little Bob Marley going, just a song or two, helps me think.”

     “It’s your place, Mistress, Bob Marley coming up.”

     Marie turned back to Phil, “So, tell me about Elsewhere…”

     “Well,”  he began as Buffalo Soldiers came over the speakers, “a very long time ago, this planet, which you may or may not know is my homeworld, and of course the rest of my species at that.  We were involved in a terrible war against these creature…I hardly know what to call them…they had mechanical bodies, but inside they were driven by colonies of mircorganisms, a type of protozoa, I believe.  They had worked out some kind of interface from biological to mechanical, but it would not work on us.  This appeared to enrage them…if protozoa can be enraged.  They all but wiped us out.  That’s why everything is scorched here outside…we would have been doomed…but then somehow…and my parents would never tell me how exactly…as I was a wee mecho-larva at that point…you saved us all.  I know it had something to do with you moving this planet to the interstitial transdimensional boundary border.  That’s about all I know.”

     “How the fuck could I move a planet?  I don’t know how to move planets.”

     “Yet.” Phil said.

     “Okay,” Marie mused out loud, “Well, I’ve got a pretty good idea what your protozoa are, and where they came from.”

     “Well, then you know more than I do.  I told you you’d figure it all out.”

     The song changed to One Love, and Marie could not help but move her body with the reggae beat.  Phil, she noticed had joined her, as had most of the occupants of the bar, which appeared to be pretty much the same crowd as was there the last time she visited.

     “Hey, when did I leave here anyway?”

     “What?  This last time.  I don’t know, just after the game finished up?  About a half an hour ago, something like that anyways.”

     “Wow,” she observed.  “Time flies why you’re doing weird shit, I guess, or it doesn’t…whatever.”

     At this Phil laughed.  “You’re so awesome, Marie.  Thank you for being my friend.”

     “Thanks for being mine.  You have no idea how helpful it is to have a friend like you and a place like this to come to.”

     Was he blushing?  Well, perhaps the robotic centipede equivalent of blushing.

     Bob Marley was singing in the background:

     One Love.  One Love.  Let’s get together and we’ll feel alright.

     “Oh my God!  That’s it!” she exclaimed.  “Or that’s part of it.”

     “What is?” asked Phil.

     “I know where I need to start,” she answered.


     “I need to visit the Right Jenkins.”

     “The who?”

     “I know exactly who the right Jenkins is.  And I know exactly where to find him.  It’s been right in front of me the whole damned time.”

     “But you can’t leave now,” replied Phil, “Coff-Coff just put your favorite TV program on all the screens.”

     “MY favorite TV program?”

     “Well, it’s open for debate you said, either Sherlock or the early BBC Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett.  Coff-Coff went Brent, this time, but look, it’s your favorite episode, The Final Solution.”

     “Reichenbach Falls!”  Marie shouted.  “Yes!”

     “Well, I didn’t think you’d get that excited about it, you have seen it before you know.”

     “Don’t you see?  The songs, the Marley and the Holmes.  They were messages, future me has sent current me.  One Love and Reichenbach Falls.  Those are the answers I need.  Now, I just have a couple of questions for the Right Jenkins and I’ll know exactly what to do.”

     “Really?” asked Phil incredulously.  “From a song and a TV show, you know how to save the Multiverse?”

     “Yep.  I think so.”

     “You’re not planning on doing anything crazy are you?” Phil asked his little face suddenly wrapped in concern.

     “My friend, Philip,” she answered, “Every bit of this business is crazy…that’s the only way to be.  I’ll come back in two seconds, and if I’m right, the Multiverse will be saved, and we’ll watch this episode together, and I’ll buy you another one of those…things you drink.”

     “Sounds like a deal.  Just be careful, Marie, you have a lot of friends here.”

     “I’ll be as careful as possible, but if it doesn’t work, then we’ll never have met, and you won’t know to miss me.” She replied.  “See ya…”

     And she wrapped the cloak of Ain around herself and she was gone.

copyright 2017 Diana Hignutt