Eternal Lies: The Masks of the Liar

Episode XVI: Ashes to Ashes (Part 11)

Kakakatak caught up to Jimmy, Ruby, and Geronimo near the singularity, at the frontier between 1926 and 1937.

“I’m going to stand here, at the boundary, and make sure everything goes right. If you succeed,” said the Yithian.

Jimmy—the Jimmy on the 1937 side of boundary—tossed his 1926 self Kakakatak’s lightning gun. His 1926 self flipped him Job’s dagger…and his rabbit’s foot.

“One version of each of you should go into the Singularity,” said the Yithian. Geronimo handed Jimmy his sword, and he passed it over to the 1926 Geronimo. Who, you’ll remember, wasn’t Geronimo at all.

I mean, are you confused yet? They all were. I can keep things straight of course. This isn’t even a stretch for me. But just to catch you poor monkeys up, let’s see what happened to Millicent and Job back in 1926…

…Millicent and Job rolled across the edge of the Singularity and emerged in…some timespace. Neither of them perceived anything unusual. At least not for them.

Millicent could see both Jobs, the rail-thin student from 1926 and the shattered wreck of a man from 1937. She could feel the Daoloth software running on both Jobs, merging them together in her understanding.

“My lady,” said Job. He bowed.

“You’re the Singularity! That’s bad!”

“We are here to do what you are here to do.”

“I’m here to save the planet!”


“Yes! I don’t want it destroyed!”


“Because I live here! All the people I love are here!”

“But you were born to destroy it.”

“I don’t want to do it!”

“But you see, it is what you were born for.”

Millicent felt the pressure of his words somehow. He was right, she knew that now; that she had been conceived and brought into the world, an encapsulation of millennia of understanding, a microcosm of entire universes contained within herself.

She squeezed her eyes shut. “I don’t care,” she said. “I’m not going to do it!”

[This was a Hard Driver vs. her Drive; my plan was to try and drive Millicent down to 0 Sanity.]

Ruby stepped over the Singularity boundary…

…and found herself on a road made of yellow bricks. She vaguely remembered the children’s books her governess had read to her as a child.

The road forked ahead of her as it wound through a cornfield. On the left fork was…her, whether image or projection or statue she wasn’t sure. This version had a left arm. On right fork was an exact duplicate of her as well, only with her familiar stump for a left arm.

In between the forks, a scarecrow had been put up. Somehow it resembled Jimmy. “See, Ruby, if you continue in the Singularity and close it, your 1926 form might vanish, and with it your arm! Of course, what do I know, I don’t have a brain! You should have read this novel better!”

“I have to help my friends,” she said, and walked down the right hand path…

Jimmy stepped over the Singularity boundary…

…and emerged inside a church. He was wearing a morning jacket and striped trousers. Janet stood in front of him in a beautiful, elaborate wedding gown. Behind her Ruby stood, in a particularly ugly bridesmaid’s dress.

Geronimo was standing next to him, looking impatient. “Hurry up, man, say your vows,” said Geronimo.

“Dearly beloved,” intoned the pastor, “This future will probably never happen now.” There was a tremendous crash and his mind reeled.

[4 points of Stability loss to Jimmy.]

Geronimo was crawling over a vast plateau, pockmarked by trenches and shell holes. It looked like a vision of Hell, or the Great War, or the siege of Madrid. He pulled himself along handhold after handhold, making only incremental progress across this vast wasteland.

The Sword slipped from his grip.

It fell tumbling into a crevasse and smashed into the rocks below, spinning as it bounced away and rebounded again and again until it sank out of sight.

He shook his head and kept climbing.

[One of my Time Travel Moves—"Make them lose something in time."]

Dr. Orange found himself in a long curving hallway. It was immaculately white, and lit by means he couldn’t discern. He started to walk down it.

The corridor was very long and never changed its gentle curve. After a long time, he came across another man.

The man looked exactly like him.

“Are you…” began the other Dr. Orange.

“Here to close the Singularity?”

Ja. I guess we should keep going.”

Together they followed the corridor for a long time. Eventually they met another Dr. Orange.

“Hey,” the new one said. “Which one are you? One of us has to be the right one.”

“Well, let’s just keep going,” said one of them.

They walked for a very long time. Eventually they found a fourth Dr. Orange.

“This is ridiculous,” said the newcomer. “What would Born do here?”

“Keep walking?” said one of them. Nobody was sure which one. It probably wasn’t even important.

“This must be some kind of Hilbert problem,” said another. “It’s all infinities.”

“We need to figure out how to do the integration.”

They huddled together for a moment. “Wait, it’s me!” said one of them, and vanished.

[1 point Physics spend by OP.]



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