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88: Part of the Larryville Opera of Awkward Indulgence.

kelson.philo's picture


It’s a story about parallels, about symmetry, as the name implies.

Jack Loenman develops a working quantum computer, QC. Starts running Deep Simulations. Searching for the exact structure of the various space-time scales. The nature of these investigations have the unknown-to-him-as-yet-capacity for changing reality. He turns a teacup into a gold brick. That sort of thing. Something is wrong, though. A bright white light has opened in the room with him and the computer. It’s a rift, a slash, a schism, a wound. It starts sucking things into it. Small things at first. Dust. A cockroach. Then larger. A chair. His favorite fern.

The QC doesn’t recognize the Gash’s presence, however. Probing the Gash returns explosive feedback. Jack is burned and the QC is outta commission but there are words frozen on it’s screen, “All is Well.” He gets an overwhelming sense, though, that all is not well, and sets about building another QC from spare parts. Gash, much to his chagrin, starts growing, as well as continuing to feed. He realizes that very soon he will have to evacuate the lab.


Jessica Stillbrook is working on an Empathic Turing Interface, ETI. She wants all matter and energy to be able to harmonize on a certain subdimensional wavelength. She switches on for the first test and is able to pick up on the natural vibratory state of her favorite philodendron. It’s happy in the sunlight. It is content with its existence. She weeps for joy. Something is wrong, though. A malfunction. A black scar in the center of her workshop opens. Sucking everything in. Its blackness is terrifying to her. The ETI starts frying, it’s registering negative empathy. Doesn't make sense, borrowing emotions from the future to pay for yesterday's mistakes. The scar starts to grow, she has enough time to get a box of spares and get out.


Once upon a time, Jack Loenman and Jessica Stillbrook were alone. They lived in small houses on the north and south sides of town, respectively, and both had converted most of the floorspace into laboratory. Intellect mated with biological need and the two found solace in their respective opera. Their desperate searching for something in the world to hang on to mixed with a natural proclivity to strange and esoteric science. The constant run from the Gash, that is sucking up their worlds, their universal memories. Biding time in abandoned areas of the world, their remade machinery is able to send out small text messages, into the Gash. Bits of hope across unknown voids. Messages in bottles that they’ll never see.

The end time. They are alone. He against the white wall, she against the black. They come to the realization that they are their own universes, and that they are alone. There’s only one way through….






Worlds that were taken from them are now fused into something new and different. And they are exploring and they are marveling and they are Naming the Names.

Jessica Stillbrook and Jack Loenman decide to Go Back and Name the Gash that seperated their worlds, and in their new laboratories of more perfect understanding they meet each other, face to face, their hands instinctively go for their machines, to the now fused text input pads.

It ends with them, staring into each other’s eyes, wondering what will happen next.

"Fade to black," Jessica whispers.

“All is well,” says Jack.