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Posts: 17
Registered: ‎05-07-2007
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Griff- Putting it all togather (part I)

[ Edited ]
This will probably not be a short story. The opening owes a lot the Laumer's Imperium storys and the George Pal version of "The Time Machine";.

I'll have to read "Alice and Wonderland"; and "Through The Looking Glass" again though.

I tend to write on the fly rather then plot details so I haven't a clue where the story will go.

It's a rough first draft--so don't beat me up to much about grammer, spelling or sentence structure.

Feel free to slap me arround about anything else :smileyhappy:

"The Other Side Of The Looking Glass";

Chapter 1

Alice sat on the veranda sipping Lapsang from a translucent porcelain cup. The evening breeze carried the scent of the not-trees to mix with the tarry aroma of the tea. The cottage across the lake was slowly fading, the reds and yellows of the hilside forest washing through the semi-transparent walls. Yesterday the lake had been a greensward and the cottage an amethyst skyscraper.

She took another sip from the cup. _Only The Looking Glass never changes._ The Hatter’s house was rock compared to the shifting sands of the outside universe. He was almost recovered now. Ten days had passed since they entered the portal to the mirror world. Ten days of babbling incoherence interspaced with rigid coma. She had been afraid he would die but gradually he returned to normal.

She smiled at the thought. _On his best day the Hatter would never be merely normal. Half the time I don’t have a clue about what he’s saying—but that’s to be expected from one’s God. That’s what he is, after all. Not in the worshiping sense but in the fact that he created me. I owe him for that…and much more._

The sound of footsteps behind her interrupted her reverie. She placed the teacup on the wrought-iron lace of the table beside her.

He slid into the chair next to her, leaning the elaborately carved walking stick that he was never without against the Table. She had originally thought The White Queen was a simple affectation, a simple work of art made of cherry wood and bronze, but that was before the Hatter had shown her it was a work of art of an entirely different nature. She was, in fact, a sister to Alice—but on made of quantum circuitry rather the flesh and bone.

“The slippage rate is varying. We’re cutting through the continuum cluster much slower now. With a little more tweaking I think I can bind the house to a single thread—at least for a bit. It’s slow work now that I have only the house network to link to,” he said. “It seems I’m only a shadow of my former self.”

“Any luck getting the portal back home to respond?” Alice replied.

“Well, not exactly—“

“That means no.” A disembodied voice answered. The White Queen’s voice had always conjured up an image of bratty kid sister in Alice’s mind—the type that always irritated you, but would leave a void if gone. It was only to be expected; as AIs go she was very young. _Not as young as me—but young._

“I’m afraid she’s right, It’s still connected to the other node, otherwise it would just disappear. Duality portals are only designed to operate in a single continuum not across shadow continuums created by splitting probability. Our only hope is finding a universe with the technology to create a foamspace tap.“

“From there, we jump into foamspace. The Frost Giants help us get back home—Problem solved,” The Queen interjected.

Alice stifled a sigh. _The problem with being only six years old was you sometimes don’t understand what the grownups are saying. I’ve got the adult body but not the education. She had barely gotten past string theory—the intricacies of Quantum Engineering and Reality Physics were far beyond her._

_How am I going to Help?_

Message Edited by Griff on 05-14-200709:55 PM

Posts: 17
Registered: ‎05-07-2007
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Re: Griff- Putting it all togather (part II )

How am I going to Help?

She turned her attention back to hillside. The cottage had faded now, only a wispy ghost remained. The trees had hardly changed but their scent was now muskier and the golden pollen drifting in the sunlight had taken on a metallic glint.

“How come I’ve never seen any people out there?”

“People?” He started as if the question puzzled him. “Ah, the people…well I’m not exactly sure. Nirti used the think that the theory implied that people bind to a cluster of shadows but only inhabit one thread at a time, but were flipping through a finite set of distinct similar probabilities. Even at our slowing rate we’re cutting through trillions of continua per picosecond. We cut through their personal skein of threads to fast to see them.”

“And there’s an alternate theory that there are fractional threads between each real continuum. It’s why the buildings fade rather than just wink out.” The Queen interjected.

The Hatter chuckled. “Either theory explains a lot of unexplained phenomena—ghosts, mysterious disappearances, precognition, lost socks. We fix ourselves to our own range of reality. We are what we perceive…”

“Then why don’t we just wish ourselves back home?” she asked.
He removed his top hat and ran a hand through his bright red hair. He froze for a second eyes narrowing.

Uh Oh! There he goes again, the last time I saw that look we ended up here.

A full minute passed as the Hatter stared at infinity. “Nooo—I really don’t think that will work…” he replied slowly. He suddenly bounded up and did a jig. “You’re a bloody genius Alice, Sorry, got something to check on…” he yelled He sprinted toward the door leaving both Alice and The Queen staring after him in shock.

“Oh Dear...” Alice whispered.

“At least he didn’t yell Eureka, this time,” the Queen noted.

* * *

The next morning Alice was up before dawn. Her room had been assembled in the far end of the Hatter’s workshop. Only the single room had transitioned with them when the incident occurred. All the others making up the vast network of portal-connected spaces making up The Looking Glass were now lost in a faraway place in the Meta-universe. Fortunately, the bubble they were in was a perfect 300-meter sphere, and the room’s nanoswarm had sufficient raw material available to re-configure the area from hanger-like workshop to living quarters. Like most things in the Labyrinth the gross structural building material consisted of untold trillions of bacteria sized machines. When linked together the invisible army could simulate anything from aerogel to ash planking. What the swarm couldn’t simulate, it could build—providing there were atoms of the right elements available, enough energy available to process them, and a data template to work from.

And therein lay the problem. The vast support network of AIs, processor nodes, and data archives are no longer available. Even the Hatter was limed to a single avatar, and his Ka, his self, was isolated from the rest of the nodes that made up most of his mind.

She shuttered. How would it feel to wake up with most of your mind missing and the vast majority of your knowledge erased?

He was currently banging on a mechanism that looked suspiciously like a miniature antimatter containment bottle and was swearing in a language she wasn’t familiar with. From the tone he wasn’t reciting a mantra of blissful contentment. The Queen was floating nearby, a cloud of mechanical manipulators orbiting her like a dozen mismatched moons around a gas planet.

“Not a good idea, boss. It may be almost depleted, but there’s at least a half-gram of AM in there. We only have enough power for a 0.9998 percent containment in the event of a breach…”

“Not to worry,” he replied without looking up, “These things never break—well, almost never. I need all the energy I can scrounge, before we go out.”

“Out?” Alice’s eyes narrowed.

“Out Where?” the Queen echoed. All the machines orbiting her froze for fraction of a second.

Silence reigned for an eternity.

“Out there, I’ve had this really marvelous idea…”

“But darling, didn’t you tell me that anything leaving the bubble is instantly bound to the local continuum, and the house would continue on course, leaving us stranded.” Alice pointed out fighting the urge to waggle a finger.


“And didn’t you also say that if drug your feet just a little when exiting parts of you might be chunked across consecutive threads? You used the words ‘Bloody mess” if I recall.”

“Also yes.” He looked as if he didn’t fully understand the reason for the question.
“So how do we go out?” she asked arching an eyebrow.

He placed the instrument he had been using on a pedestal that extruded from the floor next to him, and turned to face her, beaming. A steaming mug rose from the flat surface of the platform. The heady smell of caf and chicory assaulted her nostrils. Grabbing the cup he grabbed her arm and headed of the terrace. “It was a damndably good idea, wishing ourselves back home. I don’t know why I didn’t think about it first. Simply brilliant! Have you ever speculated on the nature of luck, and why one garter will disappear at the oddest times?”


“That my dear Watson, is what we are about to explore.”
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