This is story debate. My opponent must write a short fiction in his first round, and I will attempt to continue it. Sex, swearing, and violence are of course permitted.
1. Questions or clarifications should be asked in the comments, not the debate.
2. A forfeit will result in the loss of conduct, and an unreadable prose or grammar will result in a S/G loss. If both debaters do not fulfill these conditions, ALL SEVEN POINTS should awarded to the one the voter believes wrote the best, overall. Voters need to give reasons for their decisions.
3. Quality should be judged upon writing style, prose, plotting, concepts, originality, etc.
I believe that is all. I wish luck to my esteemed opponent, KRFournier.
It began with Arnie waking up the same way he did every morning: arms at his sides bent at the elbow ninety degrees with his hands resting comfortably on his stomach, which rose and fell in perfect tempo. His breath always entered steadily through the nostrils and exited with equal measure through relaxed lips.
Arnie did not move in his sleep. Ever. He wouldn't allow it. Nothing escaped Arnie's perfect control. He was, by his own admission, a perfect example of the human specimen. He exercised perfectly, not too much and not too little. He counted every calorie to two decimal places and weighed his portions in milligrams. He took a twenty-two minute nap every day at precisely 2:22 in the afternoon. He took mental breaks every ninety minutes to ensure his brain worked at peak efficiency.
Arnie was not married. He was not interested in variables he could not control or predict. A spouse would disrupt the routine. A spouse would require children. Children would make a routine truly impossible. Family life held no appeal to Arnie. Going to bed at exactly 10:10 every night and waking up every morning at exactly 6:06 every morning was far more stimulating.
Arnie did not have need an alarm. If Arnie awoke one minute late or one minute early on any giving morning you could be rest assured the clock needed adjusting.
Yawn first, stretch the limbs, and open the eyes. That was Arnie's perfect routine for returning to consciousness, and he did exactly that on this most unusual morning.
The room came into focus. He sought the familiar constellations of his popcorn ceiling. They had names, all in Latin. They were all missing. Porcum. Cane. Horologium. The others. All gone. Only a dull, flat ceiling greeted him. A twinge of panic attempted to force its way into Arnie's physiology, but Arnie resisted. Control. Arnie was always in control. A ceiling was nothing. He could handle a flat ceiling. Arnie permitted an additional deep breath, unscheduled though it was. Extenuating circumstances must be allowed sometimes.
Arnie closed his eyes and allowed his other senses to take stock of his environment. The weight of the covers was incorrect. The bed was much too firm. The room felt much too small. He allowed his ears to work. He heard people talking from various distances and locations. Their words were not distinguishable indicating the place was large. Footsteps could be heard echoing throughout the place, and he calculated that the walls were a bare, hard material.
The panic stirred again and this time Arnie could allowed it. Heart pumping, Arnie opened his eyes and sat up. Cement walls surrounded him on all sides but one. One wall was not cement. That one wall right in front of him set his anxiety into full roar. One would think that one non-cement wall would be a relief. One would be wrong if that one non-cement wall was a wall of bars.
Arnie's pulse immediately increased to cardio-vascular-workout speeds. His brain kicked into overdrive scanning his memories for the events that led him to here, but nothing in his gray matter explained this phenomena. He went to bed, in his own bed, at precisely 10:10 last night. He was sure of it. His memory never failed him. Right? He was always in control, right?
Arnie stood on wobbly legs and jerkily walked to the bars. Not far down the hall, three officers in uniform stood shooting the breeze"water cooler talk without the water cooler. "Excuse me?" he called through hyperventilated breaths.
The officers rolled their eyes and seemed to telepathically play a quick game of ro-sham-bo to determine which one would have to actually do their job for a few minutes. The unspoken loser dawdled over to the bars. When he got there, he crossed his arms and cocked his head. Clearly, acknowledging Arnie with words was far too much to ask.
"Why am I here?" Arnie asked.
The cops burst into laughter, a raucous which seemed to have no end in sight. After a few eons, the laughter subsided and the teary-eyed cop said, "Arnie, you're always good for a laugh."
Arnie nearly passed out at the sound of his name. He had heard his name in many different tones: condescending, ambivalent, and occasionally jovial. Rarely did he hear his name spoken with such familiar regard, even from this own mother. "Do I know you?" he asked the cop.
"Arnie," replied the officer. "You really are a card."
"No, seriously," said Arnie. "I don't know what I'm doing here. I has home last night, I"I went to bed at home last night and woke up here."
The cops' smiles faded. "Damn," said the officer at the bars. The other cops nodded knowingly." I suppose the crazies hit everyone after a few years. I was holding out for you though, Arnie. You seemed to have it together upstairs, more than most."
"A few years?" gasped Arnie. " I d"don't understand? What am I doing here?" Arnie stumbled backward and sat hard onto his bunk. "W"what have I done?"
The cop's demeanor turned to one of pity. "Hey man, just take it easy. Every prisoner in here has their days, alright? The docs have some mumbo-jumbo term for it, but I just call it a case of the regrets. Sometimes a guilty conscience just needs to forget, you know?"
"Forget what?" panted Arnie, now in a fully-fledged panic attack.
"Arnie, relax," urged the cop. "You need to calm down. You know why you're in here: the same reason as everyone that ends up in this hell hole."
Arnie began to cry. "Please, just tell me."
"You killed them, Arnie. You know you killed them. Stop pretending different."
"Your wife, Arnie. You killed her, remember? And your kids? They're gone Arnie, and that's why you're here."
Arnie's panic was instantly replaced by confusion. This couldn't be possible. Arnie was in control. He was always in control. He was mechanical. He was precise. He had no wife. He had no kids. This was not right.
The cop scuffed his feet along the floor as he left Arnie in peace.
Arnie closed his eyes tight and let his scrupulous brain work. He isolated the variables. Variable one was binary: either his memory was accurate or a delusion. Surely delusions could be overcome. Arnie was an expert at self-control. He just needed to find a hole in his memory to prove it faulty.
He searched for any recollection whatsoever of a wife, of a child. Nothing. Not a name, not even a vowel. His mind was completely blank. He decided to ask the guards.
Arnie opened his eyes.
He was sitting on his bed in his own room. No bars. No cement walls. No guards. Everything was still and quiet except for the rush of blood through his veins. "What is going on?" he said aloud.
Arnie buried his head into his hands in exasperation. His hands were warm and wet. He pulled them back and looked at them horrified.
They were covered in blood.
It was not going to be a good morning for Arnie.
He fell out of bed. The blanket came off with him and Arnie glimpsed a mass of blood soaking the sheets which his entire lower body had rested upon. He did not scream. In the dim light saw that his clothes were bloody as well. His brown jacket had moved from his closet door to his chair and the clock over his desk read 6:07 (something in him insisted this didn't jive, but he realized he might lose it if he tried to question it further).
Arnie shut his eyes again, this time for a full minute. Everything seemed perfectly, impossibly consistent. He opened his eyes. The bloody bed was still there, like a hallucination come to life. He stared at it, then shrugged. If this is how it would be, then he needed to accept that what he saw in front of him was solid reality, and construct a reasonable explanation around it...
Frustration was building up inside Arnie. He wasn't used to being outsmarted, ever, not least by his own psyche. He had absolutely no idea what had just happened to him. It was, literally, unimaginable.
Then he looked at the clock again, now displaying 6:09, and realized that if he had gotten up at 6:06, then the time he spent in the prison hadn't passed at all.
Arnie got to his feet. The door was slightly ajar (although he couldn't imagine ever forgetting to close it), so he pushed it outward with slow caution and glanced outside. The hallway seemed normal, but slightly off, in a disconcertingly familar way.
There were voices downstairs.
Creeping along the hardwood floor with a minimum of noise, Arnie quickly descended the stairs. As he stood at the bottom, taking in his living room, he realized in a dull way that he was in shock. It was a dull, alien place. The wooden bookcase was smashed to splinters (with books scattered here and there throughout the room), pieces of the ceiling were hanging loose, and blood and broken glass littered the floor. There were body parts poking out of the wreckage. Without thinking about it- he no longer could think- he grabbed a piece of wood and ran back upstairs. The voices from the kitchen paused.
As he jumped out the window of the second story bathroom, he heard the siren approaching, and knew that he would never see his home again.
The quake finally tapered off and Alexander was sent in. Dislocation is something he could have experienced his entire life and still never really acclimate to. Someone had Bitten the Apple in some out-of-the-way suburb in Ontario, and it was way too fresh to risk sending anyone without natural temporal stability. Alexander had been in quakes before and, to his own surprise, emerged to find the world almost identical to before he went in. Psychological conditioning and preparation takes a hunter only so far, and full resets remove almost all the experience they gather over the decades. So naturally, Alexander had to go.
Reality hadn't completely settled when he arrived on the corner of the street. Trees grew all around him in full springtime, and the houses were large and surprisingly well-kept. He turned onto the sidewalk and moved towards the house, with constant feed.
Apple was not a normal sort of drug. Take a dose, and you would soon find yourself whisked away to inhabit the body of another you- that is, someone else in the multiverse whose brain physiology almost perfectly matched yours. They would themselves be shoved aside into another alter ego, and ad infinitum. The temporal pressure builds, until- like a rubber band snapping back- the last person in line goes into the body of the original user. They almost never have similar memories or experiences at that point, but identical physiology all around. There are billions of links down the chain.
And that's why apes couldn't be allowed to use such power. Someone snaps and murders their whole family, and escapes through Apple- scrambling reality around them and multiplying the chaos a hundredfold. The ripples echo throughout the multiverse.
He flicked the light switch. Hand prints of blood dotted the handrail: breadcrumbs that led to the real problem. Dead wife. Dead kids. They were nothing. Apple killed in its own way. It slaughtered sin and eviscerated memories, if you were lucky to have a hunter on your tail. No hunter and the ripples could get unstable. When that happens-- Alexander didn't like to think about that. He followed the blood to an open briefcase on the floor.
More blood was smeared on the case and around the floor. The cops would follow that blood down here any minute, but that didn't concern Alexander too much. All he needed was the quantum vectors. Apple was no poor man's drug like some high schooler's chemical high. Apple was quantum physics pushed to ungodly limits, which meant it inevitably led to ungodly uses. It required a powerful computer and a boatload of energy. Apple usually took up an entire room, which made policing it rather convenient. Alexander had never seen one this small before, so he wondered if this was a product of his 'verse or another's. As a hunter, he often hypothesized cross-dimensionally. It could be exhausting.
The unit was still active, which mean it had some juice left in it. He only hoped it would be enough to send him on a journey he did not look forward to. He liked the job well enough, but the mode of transportation was a bitch. He reached for a metal ring which was attached to the apple device by dozens of wires and placed it on his head. He fiddled with the onboard switches until the device sprang to new life with a hum. It would take a few minutes for it to analyze his physiology.
As he waited, he felt sorry for the poor bastard that would inherit his body down here. Which version of himself would show up here? A college student? A grandpa? Most hunters just pretended the whole process was more like teleportation, but Alexander was never able to ignore the fact that while he was off saving the multiverse, some poor alternate version of himself was torn from his mundane life and forced to face the mess he left behind. And of course, that version's original body would be replaced by some other version, and so on. Hunters had to make ripples to stop them.
The machine buzzed and cranked. Alexander braced for inter-dimensional liftoff just as the basement door opened and detectives flooded down the staircase. Alexander wished his unsuspecting alter ego good luck as the machine kicked into full cycle and squeezed him through a quantum pinhole.
Arnie braced the edges of the sink as a quake shook the walls. He worked furiously scrubbing the blood from his hands. When he was satisfied his hands were spotless, he pulled his blood-covered clothes off and replaced them with clothes he'd pulled off the department store racks. He stuffed his old clothes into the trash can he'd used to wedge the bathroom door shut. Thankfully no had come knocking. He wiped every last drop of blood from the sink and bathroom floor with a paper towel, threw it in the trash, then dismantled his ad hoc barricade.
Arnie walked casually through the store to the front exit. As he neared the doors he noticed from the corner of his eye the store's overweight security guard stomping his direction. Unwilling to risk getting held up for shoplifting, he bolted for the door and ran as fast as he could down the street.
Arnie ran like a man on the run. Aimless. Fearful. Far. When he could run no longer, he found himself keeled over and panting at a residential corner in some shoddy suburb. He heard footsteps approach followed by a man saying, "Someone runnin' like that is someone runnin' from the law." Arnie looked up to see a tall, thin man dragging on a cigarette. Arnie tried to calculate his next move but his brain was too fried. Too much was going on and his otherwise elite mind couldn't handle it anymore.
So Arnie did only what desperate men do. He told the truth. "I don't know where I am. I was in my bed, then the next thing I know, I'm not in my bed. I wake up and it looks like I killed my family, except I don't remember having one. I think I'm going crazy." He watched the man carefully for confirmation for this last allegation, but the man didn't seem to flinch at all.
The man took one last drag on his cigarette and dropped it to the ground. "Nah," he said as he crushed the butt with his boot, "you didn't kill nobody. You just got sucked forward is all."
"What?" This man seemed to not only believe him about not being a murderer but about being in his own bed. "Sucked forward?"
"That's what happens when someone from our 'verse surfs the quantum wave into the next. It leaves a vacuum, a hole. You look like a readin' man. What happens when there's a vacuum?"
"Something else fills the space."
"That's right. Welcome to my 'verse, Filler." The man slapped Arnie on the shoulder. "Come on," he prodded. "Let's see if we can't get you straightened out. What's yer name?"
"Arnie, huh? Funny you should use a name like that seein' as you're so prim and proper lookin' and all. Not too fond of Arnold?"
Arnie decided not to respond to that. Instead he asked, "What's your name?"
"Really?" smirked Arnie.
"Truly am. Not my real name o' course, but that's because I deal in a very rare commodity. Just so happens to be something that concerns you at the moment. It's something we like to call apple. And it's the reason you're goin' crazy."
Alexander sat across from Arnold Parkerson, who was fidgeting nervously in his seat. It hadn't taken long to track him down. In fact, it didn't sit well with Alexander how easily Arnold had been to find. Normally guys on the run like to stay hidden, but this poor bastard turned himself in to the local authorities. Perhaps this would be an open and shut case and he could go back to his own 'verse before dinner.
He had to be sure though. Undoing a ripple required going backwards through the multiverse, and the drug only goes one direction. Going backwards required a measure so extreme that he had to be sure he was talking to the guilty and not some other victim of the ripple. "So, tell me what happened," he asked Arnold.
"Like I told the police, I turned myself in. I'm a convict-- I mean-- I," stuttered Arnold. Was he nervous or merely confused?
"Did you murder your wife and kids, Arnold?"
Arnold broke into tears. "Yes, yes. I did!" Arnold sobbed. That confession came too easily.
"Did you kill them this morning, Arnold?"
Arnold's shoulders ceased their shudders and he looked back at Alexander in bewilderment. "No," he said through sniffles. "No, I killed them four years ago. I've been in prison ever since."
"How'd you get out?" Alexander already knew the answer.
"I just woke up in some guy's bed, covered in blood. I thought I was dreaming or having flashbacks. I started to freak out but then I blacked out and woke up again in the middle of a park."
"Damn," exclaimed Alexander. He left Arnold without another word and headed out of the police station. He paced back and forth in front of the building trying to think. He mindlessly turned a small device in his hand as he did so. It was his tether: his only way back home.
Going backwards is not a problem if you have one of these. They maintain a small quantum tunnel opening to your home 'verse. As long as that's open, a little applied energy sends you home. The less time you spend in another verse, the smaller and less disruptive your ripple. If you don't have one of these, and killers on the run usually don't, then more drastic measures are needed.
The bastard double-jumped. No one had ever double jumped before. How the hell was he supposed to track this guy down now? His options were limited. If this 'verse had apple technology, he could theoretically use his tether to reverse engineer the correct quantum coordinates to where the real killer headed. If not, he'd have to go home and re-jump forward, but a slingshot was against every rule in the book. A slingshot was only ever done once, and it nearly ripped apart the fabric of the multi-verse. It had to be a last resort. With that, Alexander set off in search of apple.
Personal issues have cropped up and I cannot post right now. I offer my apologies to my opponent and remind the audience to award him the conduct point.
After the sensation of a crushing universe passed, he opened his eyes only to find himself in an interrogation room sitting across from two officers. Alexander had to remind himself that while he was gone, some sap from another verse was dealing with this mess. These cops had found his bewildered alter-ego in a basement filled with bloody prints and a strange device. Clearly he was not just walking out of here.
"You okay, there?" asked the first cop.
"Yeah, uh, yeah," stammered Alexander.
"Good, I'm going to ask again for an explanation as to why you were at a murder scene and I don't want to hear any more stories about how you were fishing on a quiet lake one second and then you just woke up in that basement."
Alexander didn't have time to fuss with cops all day; his mind quickly fabricated a haphazard plan. "The truth is," he said, "that I did teleport into that basement, and I can prove it to you."
The cops could not conceal their reaction, not only to his claim for proof but probably to his sudden lucidity. He likely appeared to be a different man to them, and they'd be right. Of course, it also meant they thought he was certifiably insane.
"Okay, prove it."
"I need that device you found in the basement. Bring it here and I'll show you how it works. It's a teleportation device."
The cops laughed, all but certain he was crazy. Eventually the first cop nodded to the second who left the room. A few minutes later the second officer had returned with the apple device and set it on the table. "This I gotta see," he said.
Alexander placed the metal ring over his head and switched the device on. Its previous coordinates were still in the system's memory; all he had to do was increase the throughput in order to force a double jump. Alexander forced out a maniacal laugh as he worked--a little show for the cops. When the device was ready, he closed his eyes and said another little silent prayer for the poor fellow that would be sucked back into this predicament.
As the machine hummed louder he heard the cops jump from their seats and grab at him. It didn't matter, he was already going. The universe was already crushing him. At the last second, he vaguely felt the sensation of a hand in his pocket--the pocket containing the only physical device that could transport with him.
Arnie followed Johnny Appleseed into his lair. There was no other word to describe his first floor apartment which clearly hadn't been cleaned in months. "Dealing in apple must not be all that lucrative."
"Not anymore," quipped Johnny as he stepped over garbage and headed for a bookcase at the rear of the apartment. "Cops been crackin' down hard on the stuff, and I prefer it that way. Demand don't change and the fuzz do me the favor of reducin' supply." Johnny smiled broadly as he pulled on a book. "And I got the only supply."
The bookcase slid to the side to reveal a narrow staircase, which led them into a pristine chamber with very little furniture. A single table with two chairs on either side adorned the center of the room. A device sat on the table with various wires and rings coming out of it.
"Here she is," announced Johnny. "Apple. The best high money can buy."
Arnie approached the table and examined it. "This is what brought me here?"
"Somethin' like that, yeah," replied Johnny. "What do you think?"
"Looks like a piece of junk to be honest."
"She ain't pretty, but she gets 'er done."
"So, how does it work? How do I get home?"
"I was hopin' you'd tell me."
Johnny sat down across from him and kicked his legs up on the table. "Apple only goes one direction. That means there's always some poor idiot like you lookin' for a way home. I figure they'd pay at least twice as much, but apple only goes one way. I need you to figure out how to reverse it."
Arnie found this conversation both troubling and bewildering. "Why me? What makes you think I can do this?"
"Cause you invented it."
Arnie slowly sat in his own chair in shock. As he did so, Johnny rummaged in his pocket and pulled out a ragged newspaper clipping. He handed to Arnie.
Arnie slowly absorbed it. There was no mistaking that photo of Arnold Parkerson, inventor of a revolutionary new device. Arnold's Parallel Personality Lateralization Emitter. A.P.P.L.E.
"You wanna go home?" asked Johnny with a smirk, "You gotta earn it."
"Are you human?" Cynthia asked, leaning back by the glow of the fire and smoking her cigarette.
"Not exactly," replied Alexander, hunched over their bag of canned food stirring the leaves and twigs. "We were human once, but biologically and psychology we're something else... it's complicated. The term itself is subject to quite a bit of interpretation over the millenia as they alter their characteristics."
She sat back and smiled. "So the idea is... there are millions of universes radiating out from this central point in hyperspace? And if you can correlate enough quantum permutations to match your brain structure to another one, you can basically-"
"Become it. I should explain it more thoroughly- consciousness is actually pretty fluid- but that's enough for tonight."
Cynthia, who had been crawling into her sleeping bag, looked back at him. "Do you have to know quantum physics and all this to be a hunter?"
"No. Those of us who travel across reality have to know what we're doing, but otherwise theory isn't necessary. We just often develop a compulsion to understand the mechanism. It settles our minds from the mismatch of our day-to-day life."
By now she was fully covered. "And when you say I'll never have to go back- I'll be one of you, searching the multiverse for these travelers- how exactly did you pick me out to be allowed to know this? Who cleared me?"
"You weren't," he replied. "If you aren't going to get recruited, you'll have a mind-wipe. But I do think you will be. You seem to have a stable personality- temporally speaking. You've been on the run for four years. I've been hiding out in this verse for four weeks, but it usually takes decades to find someone like that. I could have simply used your technical skills without your knowledge. It doesn't take much to erase someone's memory. But I didn't."
"And what happens if I count to thirty and you don't come back?"
"Then I won't ever."
He settled in.
The universe closes in. He knows by now the appareance of temporal consistency was an illusion, but jumping past every quantum permutation in which another actual Alexander, with fully intact memories and personality, existed did little to reassure him that time wasn't flowing exactly the way it had always flown. The his mind is outside. He has the impressions of millions of mirrors facing each other, each Alexander bursting up into his consciousness and being dragged away down the chain. He sees himself strapped to the machine he built out of junkyard scrap.
He now sees, not with his eyes, but with his mind, the true structure of the multiverse. He can't quite comprehend it intuitively, the way we can't really understand a Penrose staircase, but he knows how to navigate it. So he pushes himself towards the singularity; the zero-dimensional gateway in time. He dimly senses the arch of the multiverse receding behind him. The amount of energy being used up is immense, but it was being drained from the core of a random star somewhere (he hoped). Give humanity this knowledge would be like giving an monkey a nuclear bomb. Of course she had to go- be mind-wiped or join the hunters; he didn't know.
And with all his might, he thinks:
I KNOW WHERE THE TARGET IS I NEED BACKUP HELP I NEED HELP
He waited. He tried again.
Earlier that day Alexander had arrived two verses ahead of his own having succeeded in a slingshot without bringing on Armageddon, though not without a rather intense aftershock he was certain would register on more than one seismograph. It was one of the most unusual landings of his career as his consciousness entered into this verse's version of Alexander in the middle of his own wedding ceremony.
By the sounds of the wedding guests, Alexander assumed he appeared a little faint, something they seemed find largely endearing of a groom. The bride to be was a pretty young thing, and he felt a pang of shame that he had to ruin her perfect day. Without a word, he walked out on the wedding. He didn't worry himself about her feelings. After all, he was going to be rid of this verse as soon as he apprehended the fugitive. The mess would be someone else's.
Except that it was not going to happen. Before him, written on marble, were the words, "Arnold Parkerson, 1978-1980." In this verse, Arnold failed to thrive, which meant that the fugitive from Alexander's home verse was now forever trapped in a corpse. It was the perfect punishment for his atrocious act. Alexander new that the consciousness was active. Arnold was trapped in a dead husk and fully aware of it. Poetic justice.
Unfortunately, this presented a rather insurmountable problem for Alexander. First, he didn't have his tether. Second, this verse had no apple. It seems the inventor of apple didn't fulfill his destiny in this verse. Alexander was stuck here with nothing but the tuxedo on his back and a ruined wedding.
Arnie stared at the device the same way a man to proud to admit his incompetence stares at an engine on the side of the road. He feigned a look of steady concentration.
Johnny was still kicking back in his chair. "You can look at it all day, but it ain't gonna fix itself."
Arnie gave up. "Look, I don't know what this this is or how it works. I'm not a physicist or whatever back home."
"Yeah, what are you?"
"I fix computers. I own a little repair shop in town that barely brings in enough revenue to feed me. I'm no big shot."
Johnny got up and straightened his jacket. "Well, if you can't then you can't."
Arnie worried. "There's gotta be some other way."
"Then what's the next move?"
"This one," said Johnny. He reached into the inside of his jacket and removed a very large gun.
Arnie couldn't even let out a cry before he heard the terrifying pop.
Cynthia nibbled mindlessly on the remaining crust of a cheap slice of convenient store pizza. Today sucked. She had done plenty of reversals, but she couldn't get used to it. When she first learned about Alexander and verse hopping, she was enthralled. It seemed so romantic flying off into other realities. She jumped at the chance to save not just the world, but a whole world of worlds.
She never expected the job to cost so much of her sanity. Reversing a ripple was nasty business. This last reversal involved a serial rapist who escaped into another verse to relive his past exploits with the same women. Not only did she have to reverse the ripple, but she had to clean up his mess to make sure the original consciousness wasn't thrown in prison for the rest of his life for something he didn't technically do. This involved brain wipes of the victims which always devastating. These girls deserved justice, but so did the original consciousness.
The process of reversal was none to pleasant either. The only way to get the consciousness to spring backward to its original verse is to create a kind of vacuum. This meant forcing the consciousness out of the body so that the original one would return on and on down the line until everyone was back where they should be. Everyone, that is, except the culprit. His consciousness would be destroyed and his original verse's body would become a vegetable.
Nothing was mysterious anymore. Now when Cynthia heard of someone in permanent coma, she knew the truth. That person had been erased in some other verse by a hunter.
Cynthia took another bite of her rubbery pizza crust when the world began to quake violently. This was not an earthquake. It was a serious jump, possibly even a slingshot. Quantum quakes were easy to spot because even though everything shook, nothing fell off walls and buildings never collapsed. You could feel it, but it wasn't the earth's crust shaking, it was the whole universe.
As everything settled, Cynthia felt something odd. Somehow, she could feel Alexander. Somehow, she knew he was the one who jumped. He had joked about using his abilities in such magnificent ways, but she had never believed him. Yet, she just knew he was in trouble.
Cynthia quickly started making calls on her cell. It didn't take her long to find the whereabouts of Alexander's body in this verse. He was currently being detained by Ontario police.
This should be fun.
KRFournier and I have agreed that I will concede the debate. I apologize to him for not being able to fulfill my burden, and request that the audience give him full points. I have enjoyed reading his take on my concepts, and I think he would have won even if I had done every round.
KRFournier forfeited this round.
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