Cavalier sat looking thoughtful, her hand rising and falling, taking different forms, her mouth opening and closing, halting just before speaking, and this display went on for several minutes before she finally seemed to find her words. ‘You know many worlds theory right? You’re familiar?’
‘I passed middle school, yeah’ his tone cutting
‘But, the trick is, not everything is possible right? You’re not going to walk up to the roof and fly’
‘What if physics is different?’
‘It would be too far separate, if such a place could exist.’
‘It can’t. Not everything can be true. Not everything is possible, if only because of where we started. That, and then there’s us to consider’
‘Not sure what you’re getting at.’
‘We’re special, kind of. Observers right? Light behaves funny at least.’
‘Sure.’ he let the vowel hang, as if to beg where she was going with this line of thought.
‘So, light knows the shortest path too right? Cause it tries all of them?’
‘Cav-’ he bit his tongue ‘Lancelot, stick to one line okay?’
‘I’m not not one of those science geeks okay, I’m trying. I’ve had this explained, but you wanted me to try right? Chill your fucking shorts man.’
‘Fine, fine.’ he looked at her, his irritation clearly written he figured, from the way she looked pleading. She did look like she was flustered to so he dialed back the throttle. ‘Really, I’ll let you talk. My bad okay?’
‘So, light bends funny with us, but it also tries all the paths, which is how it knows. This means, kind of, that there’s a way the universe is supposed to be. A way it wants to be, kinda.’ his look must have been one of pure incredulity, because she went over it exasperated. ‘I did say kinda. Look, there’s a way it favors okay, but at the same time, weird stuff does happen. That gun, hell just freak accidents, or important decisions can cause splits. Its like it can read intent, and desires, since we’re special like I said. It’s like how light tries stuff. What we want, and might have done instead, it tries both, and picks one.’ Sid tilted his head, thinking maybe he was seeing where this was going.
‘So, we’re in a split.’
‘Right, but the way that gun works, fucks with things, it like...prioritizes...its hard to explain.’
‘I can tell.’ this time he gave a small smile, trying to bring some levity to his compaion.
‘So, after a while the universe picks one, and the other leg decays. I didn’t see another way, I figure if you didn’t go along, and shoot me they’d have just come in any way and killed us both. So I took the long shot.’
‘Well, if we can get you, to where you are in the other path, we should be able to collapse the split some, and it should bring me over. Because its still wobbily, and you’re going to work as our flex point, to allow it to harmonize.’
‘Wait, so you’re saying you’re dead in the other one’
‘It is a gun’
‘And if I link up or whatever I can pull you into the proper path right?’
‘Why would the universe of all things bend around us.’
‘That’s where I can’t explain more than to say that its because we want it to.’ that last bit caused Sid to laugh out loud.
‘You can’t be serious?’
‘I’m entirely serious.’
‘So, the universe responds to what I want? Cause its way to shitty for that to be true’
‘Or you just don’t know how to ask it effectively.’ this she returned with a smug expression of satisfaction.
‘And you do?’
Sid had enough understanding to at least know that what she was saying wasn’t technically impossible. It was like believing magic which still hadn’t died as a belief system. Maybe more like the power of prayer he thought to himself. What did one do in these circumstances? Science the fuck out of it. ‘Okay, so we need shoes. Size nine in mens, and whatever you’re in need of.’
‘Whew, I thought you were going to ask for something hard.’ her happiness at the request was definitely not the response he had expected, he was prepared for something altogether more dodge. ‘Black? Right? He said it was black formal wear yeah?’ Sid nodded in response ‘You think I need heels or flats?’ the audible smug had him almost angry with her confidence. He thought he could at least look forward to the told-you-so coming later. ‘Give me.’ she paused to do some math in her head ‘Four minutes.’
She moved to take a seated position on the floor, cross legged, she straightened out her back, and tilted it back a few degrees, looking a quarter circle above the horizon, her breathing growing steady and even, drawing in deep long breaths, inhalations stretching forever, exhaling maybe twice a minute. Looking at her seemed to make his eyes hurt. Strange he thought. He looked away and it seemed to lessen the discomfort, and while he was looking away he heard her gasp, his eyes snapping back he saw spine arch as if a ripple had started at her hips, and her eyes were wide open again, which a strange clarity. ‘Follow me.’
Popping his head back into the shop floor ‘We’ll be back in ten’ he yelled in not waiting for a response. Out and back into the evening air, the storm reduced to a light misting, more passers by populating the various footpaths and alleys. She dipped into one alley finally. And she paused about fifteen feet down, turning to face him, raising a hand to point upward. ‘Waiting? Shoe’s just aren’t-’
But today they did, to his sheer shock. A pair of shoes bounced off the wall, and landed scarcely a few strides from where he stood.
‘Whose shoes are these Gantry you sick fuck?’ a smile plastered across Cavalier’s face.
‘No body’s mom but-’
‘No! No! You need to find yourself a nice…’ Another pair of shoes followed. A few more shoes followed, nine pairs in all. The pair was also treated to a mother, rather disturbed by her son’s collection of pilfered footwear, and ranting about just how uncomfortable she found his fascination with them to be. Cavalier collected a pair of heels, dangling them off her fingers, as she walked over to Sid.
‘Take your pick of the litter I guess, unless you wanted these?’ He collected a set of shoes, that, just so happened as he told it to himself, to be his size. ‘Ever notice.’ she swaggered back toward Boomer’s place ‘How you find more, of what you’re looking for, when you start looking?’
Sid was in shock, but now that the whole incident was over, the dull pain behind his eyes faded. He wasn’t sure what to make of that. A week ago he’d have called it a fluke and demanded a second run, you know, science the ever loving fuck out of it, lingering in the back of his mind was a doubt though. It had been her sheer self assurance, the precision, the exactness down to a few seconds, coincidence wasn’t the right word for it by any means. He had a feeling-
‘I’ll do it again if you want. I’ll even do shoes again if you don’t like those.’ she offered as if to interrupt his thinking. He’d just been thinking that she’d say that, he’d even heard the words in his mind, the tone felt almost familiar, that same powerful sense of dejavu. If what she’d said was true, that had some decidedly negative implications.
Arriving back, they plopped themselves back into their seats. Sid finally met her eyes again. ‘I’m not fully convinced but that was weird. So, let’s say I’m a believer, and this path is wrong, it means we’ll just stop being a thing?’
‘All of it, or at least, anything that deviates from the main. You’ll be, wherever you are. Captured probably.’
‘Certainly. Knowing my luck.’
‘That other universe you don’t have your good luck charm.’ She blew him a kiss, and winked.
‘You always this flirty?’ to which she shrugged
‘Teasing, flirting, its like.’ she paused in thought, ‘like conversational fighting. Kinda. It’s the most fun way to talk.’
‘Either way, so I’m captured and that means I’ll just die over there probably.’ she nodded.
‘So, its not just for me.’
‘Or just either of us. That weapon? Would have done a lot worse if we hadn’t modified it. We need to get a hold of whatever science man they got, and probably their plans. If we want to be sure. Or it might just burn down the whole thing.’ She’d talk weird game for sure, Sid thought. Niggling back in the mind though was a question, if she was right about all the other things, what if she was right about that?