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I sent a message to Hawking on his birthday. Not my fault he couldn’t read it.

  • Fox

 

2 Weeks Later - Doc-Danger - The Rumor

It’s late. I’m tired, but I can’t sleep. I’m lying in bed, reading Halfmen and The 4th Cosmic Power. Eve is snoring gently beside me.

Ibok was a game theory genius. I guess. Honestly, his math is beyond me, but High Roller says it checks out. That’s the most rigorous test I can give it.

From his analysis of Halfman behavior, he deduced how a Space God could travel backwards in time. Using True Sight, the Call to Nothing, and couple huge ass warp portals, it’s possible to see the past and write it over the present.

It’s a shockingly evil proposition. Basically, you’d be annihilating the universe, and building a past version from it’s corpse. I can see how someone who’s lost everything might be tempted to try it, but that doesn’t make it less horrible.

Luckily, it’s not that simple. The body autonomy protocols of the other Space Gods would protect them from casual obliteration. They could extend a weaker version of this protection to vast swaths of spacetime. It wouldn’t be enough to stop a focused attack on a particular person or planet, but it could easily stop some asshole from erasing whole galaxies.

That’s where we are. We can go back in time, but only if most Space Gods agree to do so. So far, most don’t. But, there’s more Space Gods everyday, and Halfmen are working hard to pre-persuade the incipient newbies.

Fuck. What a mess.

“He got most of it right.” says Eve. She’s awake. I guess she’s been watching me read.

“You know about Ibok?” I ask.

“A little bit.” she smiles. “You left his book in the bathroom.”

Hmm. Fox isn’t the only one who’s bad at keeping secrets.

“The Impossible Parties are supposed to be debates on time travel. About what we’ll do if we get to change time.” she says. “It’s the ultimate bluffing game.”

I think. “What’s your bluff? What will you do if you get to change the past?”

She shrugs. “I’d leave most of it where it is. I’d just bring forward the tiny spec of it that’s sentient life.”

I nod. Pause. “What? You’re talking about bringing people forward in time?”

“Yeah.”

“But, like, everybody?”

“Yeah.”

“So, everybody who has ever lived will be alive at the same time?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

“The past is terrible. The future is much better.” She’s smiling, but has tears in her eyes. “They should have the same opportunities we do. It’s only fair.”

Okay. She wants equal rights for dead people. That makes sense. I guess. Can’t say I’ve ever thought about my responsibilities to dead people. Unless you count wanting to killing Hitler. Which isn’t really the same thing.

She still looks kind of misty. I pull her towards me. Hold her.

I think for a bit. Nod towards the Man in the Mask. “What does he want?

“He also wants to bring back the past.”

“So, you’re allies?”

“Never.” she sneers. “Just enemies that both want time machines.”

I nod. She is very still. I think she may be asleep, but she starts talking.

“You can ask me.” she says. “The thing you’re looking for. The thing you ask everyone but me.”

I tense.

“Shh.” she says. “It’s okay. I know you can't trust what’s given. Don’t worry. This isn’t help. It’s a complicated attack.”

She crawls on top of me. Kisses me. Looks deep into my eyes. “Ask me. I’ll probably destroy you with my answer. But, you may learn something.”

I stare into her eyes. Fuck it. “Some Space Gods remake their bodies. How do the solve the continuity of experience problem? How do they remake their brains without killing themselves?”

“I don’t know.” she says. “I don’t think they do.”

“Rrrrr. So the neutronium Space Gods are just shiny corpse puppets?”

“I guess. I think of them as children of the mind. But your description is also accurate.”

I hold my head.

“What’s the problem?” Eve asks. “You don’t have to make yourself a new brain. Most people don’t.”

“Fox has a brain disease.” I say. “He’s dying.”

“Oh.” she pauses. “Shit. That sucks. But, why don’t you fix the brain he already has? I mean, not you, but your species. There must be trillions of humans. You all have similar organs. Surely you must have regenerative medicine?”

“Barely.” I sigh. “My species has other priorities.”

“Ahh.” she holds me tight. “I understand.”

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Doctor Zero

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