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Authors: JD Lovil

Tags: #murder, #magic, #sorcery, #monsters, #parallel worlds, #tyr, #many worlds theory, #quantum jumping, #heimdall

Jigsaw World (26 page)

BOOK: Jigsaw World
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As soon as the Thunderbird was gone, Charlie
went over to the dragon’s carcass and pulled two items from the
knapsack that he habitually carried. For some reason, it would seem
from what he could pull out of the sack, that it was far bigger on
the inside than the outside would ever suggest. This time, he
pulled a sharply gleaming knife and a wooden cask from the sack,
along with an odd looking chainmail gauntlet.

He stabbed chest of the dragon’s corpse with
the knife, and jig sawed a line through the scales. It must have
been one hell of a knife, because it cut through scales reputed to
be very tough as though they were butter. Once he had made the
incision, he put the gauntlet on his hand, and reached into the
wound with the protected hand, eventually pulling out of the dragon
something that gleamed in sapphire flames from the place where the
beast’s heart should be. He placed the glowing object into the
cask, and he closed the lid, and locked the tiny lock on the chest
shaped container.

Charlie sauntered back to the group, and
handed the cask to Vera. “We will take this back to the Sorcerer.”
He said. “We will need the heart of the dragon when we use the four
artifacts.” With that, he started back the small distance to the
jeep. A short time later, the group was relocated at Diane’s for
one more night of familial debauchery before resuming the
completion of the tasks.

The next morning, they all got up and shared a
delightful country breakfast together, before embarking on the
return trip to Camden and the Herald’s compound. The return trip
was uneventful, and two hours of leisurely travel saw them back at
the destination.

They had thought that bringing Charlie back
with them would be the biggest change in population that they would
see, but they were surprised by the addition of two more persons to
the household. Tyr the one-handed was there to greet them, and with
him was another man, whom he introduced to the group as Heimdall
the far seer. Heimdall was almost too white to see, whiter than any
albino, and dressed in white. He must have been taller than seven
feet, and he could easily have been five feet wide at the
shoulders, but he was undeniably pure muscle. He looked like he
could have bench-pressed a Cadillac.

The most striking thing about Heimdall wasn’t
his pure whiteness, or his size or dimensions, or even that he
spoke seldom, softly and carefully. The only thing about him that
wasn’t white was his eyes. They were a glowing golden color, and as
soon as you saw them, you would think that they didn’t belong to a
man. They were definitely the eyes of an eagle.

 

 

******

 

 

21 The Coming

Tom and Karla had joined the others at the
courtyard table. Everybody was there, laughing and relaxing. The
conversation was currently on the subject of funny events in each
person’s history. Charlie was speaking.


I remember when I first met Rafe
at the University on his worldline. He was curious and a great
learner, but he was a lousy student.” Charlie chuckled. “I remember
the first time he caught wind of the idea of walking the
worldlines. He was full of questions. When I started trying to get
him to practice meditation and visualization, he almost left
because he thought I was trying to pick him up!”


So how did you convince him you
were on the up and up?” Markus asked. Everyone around the table
leaned a bit closer.


Oh, I slept with his girlfriend.”
Charlie laughed. “Once she advertised what I was like in the sack,
he couldn’t say I was homosexual.” That got a few
giggles.


I remember when we all dyed a
chicken purple, and put it on his head while he was sleeping.” Tyr
blurted out. “It was at the Battle of Order and Chaos, and he had
had a dream about a purple bird.”


You looked a little uncomfortable
around his wolf during that time.” Heimdall remarked. “It wasn’t
like Fenrir. The worst Lobo would have done to you is lick you to
death.”


You guys going to talk about Rafe
all night?” Tom asked. “I start to think that you do have a thing
for him.”


Change of subject.” Karla said.
“What are our chances of pulling this repair thing off?”

All the old heads looked at Heimdall, and Tyr
said “Heimdallr, son of the nine waves, Watcher and Foreseer, your
past is shrouded even to you, but you see the things to come. What
will our efforts bring?”


As the Book of Worlds confirms,
the near hand brings success.” Heimdall said. “But what Order
builds, the left hand of Chaos will one day destroy.” He smiled,
and the gold of his teeth matched the gold of his eyes.


Great. You just said that it will
work until it doesn’t.” Tom grouched. “With wisdom like that, who
needs stupid?”

After that, the conversation continued in that
vein for a bit. The book of worlds that Heimdall referred to was an
average of the results in nearby worldlines. Heimdall was able to
see the nearby worldlines directly, and could get a good idea of
the chances of a particular outcome in one reality by finding the
average results in the ones around it.

Heimdall had been around so long that even he
had no idea where he had come from. The myths of the Aesir said
that he might have been one of the old people, the Vanir, who were
also reputed to have the power of precognition as a racial trait.
He didn’t know, and if he was of the Vanir, he must not have fit in
very well with them, as he was different from them as
well.

The Herald changed the subject to the imminent
coming of his master, the mysterious Cernunnos, the former King of
the First City. He was overjoyed with the prospect of seeing him
again, which gave Tom the chance to goad him by suggesting
homosexual overtones to their relationship. Karla whispered to Tom
that he might not want to get the Herald pissed at him, considering
that he might need him to survive the coming tasks. Tom agreed, but
pushing people’s buttons was far too much fun to discontinue
entirely.


Speaking of Cernunnos, He and the
Seer spoke to me earlier.” The Sorcerer stated. “They will be here
in the next half hour or so. I suggest that we move into the parlor
to await their coming.”

The supply of beer was in the fridge close by
that parlor, so everybody agreed that the move was a good idea.
Five minutes later, the group was settled in the parlor, sitting on
the couches and chairs available, drinking beer and in Tyr’s case,
some golden mead. Vera grabs the day’s newspaper off of the table
and reads the Headline. ‘Thousands Dead in Belize, Nanobot
Infection Suspected.’

The American government had been getting more
intense in its response to perceived opposition; in this case a
large percentage of the population of Belize was American Ex Pats,
who were no longer paying US taxes. It was generally assumed that
the government didn’t mind making an example of those ‘tax
dodgers’, and those nifty little Nanobots were a terrible way to
die.

This world had gone to hell in a hand-basket,
as they say these days. One could chalk up some of the mess to
normal human idiocy, but the damage to the worldlines reality had
to take credit for some of the damage. The group had discussed the
subject and come to some conclusions. A worldline develops a
consensus reality when the people living there all have
expectations and assumptions about reality in common. Then, the
expectations will tend to reinforce the common elements, and
aberrant factors will tend to be rejected by the
reality.

The problem was that now the world had become
increasingly complex. The virtual reality brought by electronics,
the overlapping and contradictory events, reports on increasingly
ever-present news channels, and the overwhelmingly unanchored
lifestyles of the people in the modern world have all conspired to
make the assumptions and expectations of the people take on a
probabilistic quality of their own. How does a consensus reality
stabilize when the people have no firm expectations of reality,
when anything is just as likely to the human mind as any
other?

The problem the group faced was to create a
reality, so real that the people begin to create those critical
assumptions and expectations of reality in common once again. From
there, the machine should be self-sustaining.

That was all for tomorrow. For today, they had
a poorly explained exercise to complete that sounded like it was
something half way between a Catholic confessional and a therapy
session. Everybody was a little jittery about exposing their
secrets in this or any other situation. But first, they would get
to meet the Seer and Cernunnos, if they ever got there!

Suddenly, it was time. The hallway double
doors flew open, and instead of looking down a long hallway, the
group was looking into the entrance to a cave. Two figures stood
close to a blue flame that burned without any apparent fuel in the
center of an almost circular area. One form was that of an average
build man on the short side of normal height, wearing a robe and
sporting a grin and eyes that might have shown either insanity or
humor, Tom wasn’t sure which. The other form was much taller, and
he had a rack of antlers that was almost columnar and fairly
densely packed. These two must be the Seer and Cernunnos, Tom
thought.

The two regarded the group from across the
threshold. The group considered the two. The cave was clearly
visible, and every few seconds there was a blurring effect, and
multiple caves and multiple occupants could be seen for just a
second, slight differences in some of them were visible. Everybody
understood by now that it was an indication of the multiple
probabilities that could come to bear on the event.

The Seer took up his staff from where it
leaned against the wall, and the two of them walked calmly and
sedately over the threshold and into the world. The Seer looked
harmless, but Cernunnos felt powerful and strange, but somehow, he
put everybody at their ease. The Seer might have been sixty or one
hundred, but he seemed to be one of those eternal old guys.
Cernunnos might well have been an old thirty or a young forty, but
he did not really qualify for human.


Today we will be conducting the
rite of purification.” The Seer said. “Each of you will confess
your secret upon which you base your persona, and then you will be
cleansed by the ritual and by the heart of the dragon.”


Then what happens?” Tom quipped
in his best little kid on a road-trip manner. “How will we complete
the healing?”


Before you are all purified,
Heimdall will help us to find the exact center of the Place of
Beginnings. Karla will plant the Seed of Creation at that spot, so
that we can mend the worldline from that point in time and in
space. Then will Vera bring and read from the Book of Eternity so
that the worldline will become according to the words. At the third
time shall Markus bring to the Place the Staff of Infinity, so that
we may carve out the low probability worldlines, and so strengthen
the worldline as it should be. In the Fourth time, Tom shall bring
the Stone of Creation to the Place of Beginnings, so that what we
have planted, and tended, and pruned shall be brought forth as the
brightest of probabilities, and so shall make the world normalized
and finally real.”

The Seer was waxing eloquent, and as is
usually the case, making less and less sense. Well, actually he was
making sense, but it was that kind of sense that a poem has, not
your usual straightforward conversational plan. It also occurred to
Tom that there was a huge gap in the conversation, specifically,
what happens if they fail?


So what happens to the world if
we fail to fix it?” Tom queried. “Does it all stay the same, with
monsters behind events?” The others nodded as he asked the question
that they all had.


No, the monsters behind the
events are just a stop gap in reality, like the mythical creatures
that were supposed to cause all natural events in ancient times.”
The Seer said. “Soon, the events will start to become disconnected
from any causes, as each inhabitant of this worldline descends into
a personal chaotic reality with no connection to any consensus
reality at all.”

He went on to expound on the situation. Modern
life and events had conspired with several other environmental
issues to cause a systematic breakdown of consensus in modern
society. In order for people to share a reality, they must at a
minimum agree to the existence of an external reality. The degree
to which humanity had been sucked into a private virtual reality
had become so pronounced in recent years that the basic agreement
had been lost.

The rest of the afternoon and into the evening
was taken up with finding accommodations for the new visitors,
discussing subjects ranging from dating to saving the world
endlessly, having a moonlight lawn party with beer and wine, and a
pile of sirloin steaks that the Seer pulled out of thin air for the
occasion. He seemed to have an even bigger tendency to do the ‘pull
something from nowhere’ thing than the Sorcerer did. Lord only
knows what animal in what dread world the steaks actually came
from.

They passed the time in this fashion, because
they must wait as the time approached midnight, which was the
assumed time for the beginning of the purification rite. Each of
the four available Mentors would be a second for each of the four
Pilgrims. The Sorcerer would be second to Markus, Charlie, to Vera,
Tyr to Tom, and Heimdall to Karla.

BOOK: Jigsaw World
11.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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