Book zero, version 4-25-13 intro

Please forgive me for the cliché.

But…

Once upon a time, there was a man.

He was unremarkable in almost every way, possibly cleverer than most but so what.

One day, he started to scribble.

He didn’t know it yet, but he had gone mad.

Madness always starts small, you know.

There was a reason for it, of course, but nothing within his ability to control.

The scribbles were small at first. A little bit here, a little bit there.

Their numbers slowly growing more numerous, until he had to carry a note pad all the time in case he had to scribble.

Then he would spend hours, and then he would spend days.

Some days he forgot to eat, he couldn’t do his job without spending half his time scribbling.

A year went by, and it could no longer be considered scribbling, it was something far worse.

He was writing.

All the bits and pieces of scribble, when taken as a whole, began to form a mosaic of sorts.

Ideas and places and concepts and characters all emerged from the massive pile of growing papers.

They grew complicated, interwoven, and cohesive.

They cut off his power and water but he couldn’t stop writing.

They came to evict him, but found that the door was blocked by piles of paper.

They took his away to a quiet place, but he screams of agony were too much if they took away his paper and pencils.

And then, one day an idea struck him

Based in that idea, he wrote these certain words…

… and everything changed.

Ok, yes, I am he.

 

Now, bear with me and let me finish while I talk this out.

It is generally assumed by most Interweave travelers (particularly the Muses of Deep Red) that a writer like myself is much like unto a god. Which is to say that every time writers create a new story, they invariably also create an entire universe. Each universe is created with their own past unique and potential future centered on event prior to and following the original story. Their writing is then expressed as the manipulation of certain individuals within their universe construct in order to create what is known to everyone else as a “story”. Some say this is overly complicated, improbable, un-provable and based on a logical fallacy. Those same some counter propose that these universes have always existed since the beginning of time and some small segment of the writers population just happen to be psychically attuned to specific individual for unexplained reasons and as such they feel compelled to write what they are merely observing. No one can say for sure which the correct theory is. The general opinion as to which theory is right is fairly ambivalent. The writers themselves don’t know, nor do they care, they just want to write.

Be that as it may, in the case of the latter theory this could simply be just a chicken vs. egg type quirk of your standard Multiverse archetype. However, in the more interesting case of the former, all these constantly and spontaneously generated new realities would force the Nona-dimensional universe at large to find room for all of them as they would spring into existence and snake their way through the higher three dimensions of time, probability, and causality and….

No, no no…

Of such things are the principles of the Interweave constructed, but who cares about all that, that is just a foundation for reality. Stories are about people, not some theoretical multidimensional hyper physics. Why am I writing this?

Let’s try again.

Consider your own life’s story, you might think it begins with your birth, but that story is just a parallel branch from somewhere in the middle of your parent’s life story and so on back to the beginning of time. Just as the story of your life will run on from all the people you have touched through your action, possibly including children, on till the end of time. So, if you think about it, real life stories have no actual beginning and more importantly they never truly end, do they? Why would the stories in any book you have ever read be any different? By way of extension, consider how that collection of books containing the epic story of the Lord of the Rings ended with Frodo sailing away, but then what happened? Especially considering all the industrial age artifacts left behind by Saruman for inquisitive men and dwarves to examine. What about the 3 Ghosts from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”? Were they just a ‘one and done’ act? Or, after seeing their success with Scrooge play out, would they then seek to try again and again for the next 170 years up into the present day. What effect would that have on their world? The endless contemporary retellings and retooling of the original tale would seem to suggest that this did indeed happen. That would meant that…

But no, that is just a landscape for stories to happen in, isn’t it? I am doing it again. It is still only people that make stories relatable. They always start off with something simple and continue in a linear fashion from there. A series of events starting simply with a man waking up in a strange bed, perhaps, and then the pebble rolls down hill to start the avalanche to make the butterfly take flight and eventually cause a hurricane and so on and so on….

Well, if that is so, then why don’t I start right there?

Suppose a man is rudely awakened to discover himself in an unfamiliar world with no memory of how he got there. He is surprised to find that merely 24 hours before, he was the only survivor of a supposed airline terror attack (if crispy and half dead can be considered “survival”). As such, his currently unscathed state has understandably raised some eyebrows. The only clue to his identity is a page torn from some booklet with nothing but the words “This is the journal of William De Planatae” written on it in a spidery script which had been found in his mouth by his rescuers.

It seems an implausible beginning, now that I read it.

Have I now, by writing this last paragraph, created a whole entire universe?

Could it be?

If I say yes, that I truly believe this, I am I mad?

No… I can’t be.

The voices, they scream at me and tell me that I have indeed done this.

I have created an entire new universe.

But a rational mind in a white coat says that such things are simple delusions.

I want to argue the point, but the medications that he has given me are pulling me down into a fitful state where I can not write, only see things unfolding in my mind.

My limbs have grown heavy, and now I must rest.

Sleep….

…and dream.

But for me, even dreams are no escape.

I see a man in an airplane. He is unremarkable, thinning brown hair on head, brown eyes, dressed in unremarkable grays and browns. He sits there with a small worn book in his lap, the dark brown leather of the cover is soft with age, the gold lettering is faded but still readable. He turns to his right and looks at the woman seated next to him. Unlike him her hair is full and luxuriant with highlights of amber and crimson in the brown curls. Her cornflower blue eyes scan the pages of highly illustrated graphic novel that she has been reading for the last half of an hour, but she feels his gaze on her and she looks up from the pages and smiles at him.

“We should go here,” she says to him and she holds the book up to him for emphasis.

“The Graphic Helix in mid-Violet? I think not, far too dangerous.”

“It can be much worst than this mainline has been,” she says as she closes the book and places it in her own lap to mirror, in a way, the small brown book in his own.

“Hundreds, if not thousands of active mediums,” he pointed out, “Any one of which could see us and begin writing about us, trapping us there for decades. It is rule number one, never go to a mainline where the medium is still alive and writing. Plus the locals would be very keen on…”

He pauses and looks down at his lap, and then he picks up the small brown book with the faded gold lettering, opening it to seemingly a random page and briefly reading what is there before closing it again and holding it in his hand.

“Apparently I an urgently needed in the lavatory,” He says to her with a smirk.

“Bending probabilities? Adjusting causality?”

“It didn’t say,” he said with a shrug, “ you know how it can be.”

“Well be careful,” she says. smiling at some private unspoken joke, “There might be turbulence. I would hate for you to bump your head and forget about me.”

He smiles, it is an old game that they have played for ages. He leans over and kisses her tenderly on the cheek, an echo of the thousands of kisses that had preceded it for more than a century. “I would sooner forget my book.”

“It would find you,” she says, completing their little parting ritual, “But I would find you first.”

But I know what is coming next, I have seen it a dozen times and I don’t want to see it again. I turn away from them as the man unbuckles his seatbelt, but the story still continues in its non linear way. Am I writing it?  Or is it writing itself into me? Happily that vision fades… only to be replaced by another

I see another man, in some dusty archive writing a note…about another note.

They say you can not read in dreams, but I can.

In my disembodied dream state I peer over his shoulder and read….

…and the man’s note says…

 

…Much later, after the infamous event in the hills of western North Carolina, a notebook was found in the classified PVT archives in CSA Capitol of Atlanta with a note attached in his own hand dated some two years before the calamity.

 

So I look at the note that he wrote the note about.

It reads thusly:

 

-NAU year 125

I have been a fool.

Admittedly, if I have been told the facts outright, I would never have believed them. Nevertheless, I am still a fool.

The notebook was exactly where she said it would be. I have read it three times but I have failed to glean any more from it than I did at the first reading.

I have verified the facts, as much as possible, given the circumstances.

The last few nights went undocumented, of course, but I can fill in most of the blanks now from inference. After which, I am left with only one obvious conclusion.

It seems I have some work to do.

-PVT

 

Curious, I go back to the original note

 

The note, and the contents of the notebook have been transcribed into the secret archives of the NAU for posterity, but it has been decided that the public must never know the details of this matter. Nor that their “savior” from the threat posed by the Hegemony had also gone mad and destroyed an entire city on some fools errand. Instead of being martyred by the Hegemony to keep him from his moment of triumph as the incident was recorded by the press.

In my opinion, even if they did learn of it, they would not believe a word of it.

Nevertheless, what follows are the transcripts of the mysterious notebook… EYES ONLY!!!

 

This man in the archive, of stoic unsmiling face, white hair and patched eye, whom I feel might go by the name of Sloan, seals his letter and the PVT note into an envelope and lays it next to a small spiral notebook with a worn blue cover.

Could this be the very notebook of which they had both written?

I must know what it says.

With spectral hand I reach out and the cover becomes transparent to my dreaming eyes.

I read the words written there, scrawling and hand written…

…and I am drawn deeper in to the story once more.

About Rick Wasserman

Here is my second round of blogging as my first round in Blog 1 seems to have evaporated. I have been writing for decades. Most of it is crap, but you probably figured that out on your own.
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