lingering duality…reharmonizing the universes…

lingering duality

reharmonizing the universes

Well, if you haven’t been following the comments for the last few posts, these images will seem very strange! I’m trying to imagine a visual conclusion to the story that came about as a response to the doodles I was posting… so it has become a back and forth dynamic and lots of fun! I actually did the second image first but then thought of the second idea as I was heading out the door to work this morning. So here they both are. I am not sure if they are alternate endings or part of the same ending. I guess we’ll see soon when (we hope) Tom Radcliffe takes a little more time out of his busy life to write the (I’m sure) surprising conclusion to our otherworldly, yet Montreal-based, adventure! To read the whole thing start here reading the comments.

images (cc) 2010 Hilary Farmer

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6 Responses to “lingering duality…reharmonizing the universes…”

  1. The man staggered as a wave of dizziness passed over him. The whole world seemed to ripple and sag. The koi pond in the middle of the floor grew and then shrank. Tiny icebergs appeared on the surface and the koi turned into penguins, bobbing up to look around curiously.

    The cat shook itself awake and took a flying leap toward nothing in particular.

    “Grab her, Professor!” the woman cried, and he managed to snag the flying feline out of the air with one hand, swinging her against his chest. Sharp claws pricked his naked skin, but he held on.

    “What’s happening?” he asked.

    “The universes are decohering,” she told him. “The phase relationship between them is breaking down. If we don’t recombine them soon the incoherent combination will be uninhabitable–it’ll be impossible for human life to exist! We must recombine them now.”

    “But you said your scientists didn’t know how!”

    “Well, we mostly do. There’s an extra factor of two in one term in the equations that doesn’t make sense–it implies the combined universe will have… something extra, somehow, but we don’t know what it is. We didn’t want to do anything until we understood it. But there isn’t any choice, now.”

    “We?”

    “I… it’s complicated. Remember when I said this universe was essentially feminine, full of yin energy, so your cat Yang has his analog in Yin there?”

    “Yess….”

    “Well, it isn’t just the cat that has a female analog.”

    “You mean… You’re?”

    “I am.”

    “Huh.”

    “Indeed.”

    “And here I was starting to think you were kinda hot…”

    “Ick! That’s a bit, I don’t know, incestuous, don’t you think?”

    “Now that you mention it, yeah, although I’m not sure Aristophanes would have agreed.”

    “Either way, we have a universe to save.”

    “Uh… I hate to ask this, but what sex are we going to end up in the combined universe?”

    “Will a photon pass through a half-silvered mirror? Or will it be reflected?”

    “I see your point. No way to predict. As Sir Terry would say, it’s probably quantum… So what do we have to do to save the universe? Click our heals together and say ‘There’s no place like home?'”

    “It’s a little more complicated than that, and much simpler. We have to cuddle the cat. Together.”

    “What’s that going to do?”

    “Well, we’re pretty sure that Yin and Yang are deeply connected, and if both of us cuddle Yin, Yang will know it. At the same time, he’s in a cold apartment–I had a team break in and strip everything, kill the heat, and implant a suggestion in your mind to come to the shop. Sorry, but it was necessary, and I haven’t worked out the morality of treating, well, myself, like this.”

    He slapped her, hard. “Did that hurt?”

    “Jesus Christ!”

    “I’ll take that as a yes. Clear on the morality now?”

    She rubbed her cheek. “We always did favour empirical demonstrations. I guess I had that coming.”

    “So Yang is in my apartment, freezing cold, and Yin is here, in the warm, getting cuddled by the both of us. And they’re connected.”

    “Right, so Yang will know, will feel, what his complement here is getting,” she scratched the cat behind its ears, eliciting a robust purr. “I’m pretty sure that’ll be enough to bring the two universes back into harmony. You know how much she, or he, loves to be cuddled, especially by you, or me, and how jealous they are of us paying attention to anyone else.”

    “Oh yeah. The last time I brought a woman home Yang clawed her ankle so hard he drew blood.”

    “I have an analogous memory,” she told him. “So let’s do it.”

    They sat together on the floor, fending off curious penguins, holding the cat between them and petting it. It rubbed up against their hands, holding its head so he could rub it under the chin while the woman scratched the base of its tail. The sound of purring filled the warm apartment, and got louder, and louder, filling his senses until the whole room seemed to pulse with it, and through the shimmering another room seemed to be looming out of the shadows, becoming clearer and stronger with each pulse, as outside the windows the vernal city seemed to meld with the winter snows from somewhere else, and he could feel himself falling, diffracted, into the lens of sleep.

    She awoke lying on the floor, disoriented, with the echo of strange memories in her head. She reached down, feeling her body, wondering at the odd feeling of phantom… well, not exactly limbs.

    Standing up, the apartment seemed to look as it always had, yet somehow unfamiliar. That chair, she thought. That chair is out of place.

    She approached the offending furniture, only to see it was occupied by not one, but two cats, curled together in a circle that seemed to trace out their namesake symbol.

    She scratched each sleeping head, commenting, “I might have known! With two of you you’ll get twice the cuddles, won’t you!” But they looked up at her with innocent eyes.

    • Wonderful wrap up Tom! Some nice touches there with the penguins, and Pratchett reference…”it’s probably quantom” lol

      • I’m glad you like it. It’s not bad for zeroth draft, although I can already see things I’d change in the edit!

        Still, I’ve had enormous fun doing this. I really like the image of the kitties in this one!

        I’m going to keep my comments non-narrative for a while, though!

  2. beautiful, both of you

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