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Breaking Reality

Part 4

By Kerry WilliamsPublished about a year ago 7 min read

Everything is possible now. Almost everything. We're still trying to fix what we broke. We're trying to un-do the breaking. This isn't our last ditch effort though. We'll keep trying, until we all die. Until all of existence is destroyed, we will keep trying to save it.

"How is any of this real?" Joe asked. He knew it couldn't be. He knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this was not real, but here it was. It was right in front of him. Right there! On the paper!

Joe. You're probably asking yourself, "how is any of this possible?"

Real, Joe thought. I would have used the word, real.

Before I answer that, I need to let you in on some very important information. After that, you're on your own. For starters, nobody else can know about this letter. Keep it in the envelope that it came in. Check it every so often for updates and new information. I'll try and keep you posted.

"What the fuck?" Joe said, cringing back.

If you experience any sort of time dilation, I apologize. The entire project is based in 2699. It might entertain you to know, I am the oldest living human in all existence, and I am the one who sent you this letter.

"What does that have to do with anything?"

The material that the letter was printed on, is an extremely stable form of aluminum oxide that resists all forms of deterioration and deformation. It also interacts with electromagnetic fields, allowing the print on the letter to remain stable for a short amount of time. Oh, a quick note abut time. All things, especially memory, have a specific spot in time. This means, the carbon on this letter, which makes up the printed words, is always trying to claw its way back to 2699. Only the envelope, made of the same material as the letter, can prevent that from happening.

"No fucking way," Joe said breathlessly.

I need you to do me a favor Joe. If it's even possible. I need you to... do something for me.

"What?" Joe asked. He used the tongs to flip the letter to the next page, and found it was the last page of the letter.

I need you to undo the breaking.

"How am I supposed to do that?" Joe asked, and then read on. If he was going to find his answers, he had until the bottom of the page to do it.

I don't know how. I don't because, it wasn't done. My hope is that, if you are able to succeed, then it will cause a paradox. Paradoxes are not alternate time lines or realities. We've already proven this because, I know you received the letter I sent. Paradoxes are reconfigurations of the memory of reality. A paradox causes space-time to fold in on itself, rearrange, and reconfigure, and then spring back out again. It's a reverse big-bang, with a big-bang right after. Time never changes. Only reality.

"This is fucking crazy!" Joe said then and he turned. Mary was there, behind him and slightly off to one side. There was a strange look on her face, one of fear, hopefulness, regret, and uncertainty. "What's wr-" Joe began to speak, until Mary raised a pistol and pointed it at him. Joe fell backwards. Mary pulled the trigger.

I told you that anything, and everything, is possible. Unfortunately, this was one of the possibilities. I had hoped it wouldn't happen but, Mary has been consumed by the breaking. She's been doing everything she can to fix it, in her own way. I can only assume that she was able to steal or duplicate the technology that I used to send this letter to you. She, on the other hand, sent her own communication to herself.

Undoubtedly, her solution to the breaking, is to undo our involvement in it. To eliminate you, and me, with it. Oh, I do not doubt that she loves me. You. You and I. But she loves a world filled with stability more. A world where you don't have to second guess every second of every day, wondering if the next great thing will result in another city, or continent, blinking out of existence.

I... we, Mary and I, we're on the same team here. We want the same thing. She just... she's willing to sacrifice a lot more than I am, obviously.

When you think you're far enough ahead in time, let go of the letter and find the envelope. Keep in mind, you don't want to go too far, or else you'll skip right past the breaking, without even realizing it. You need to stop it. If you stop it, you reverse its effects. Don't worry about a future tied to fossil fuels and solar power. Eventually, everything will switch over to renewable resources. It was well on its way before the breaking.

Joe kept the letter clenched in his hand, reading the text from time to time, as he hurried through his apartment grabbing things he thought he might need. He grabbed a knife from the the kitchen, upended the sugar container and took the zipped bag filled with hundred dollar bills. He grabbed a spare lab coat, and then a jacket, gloves, and a lighter. When he was done, he hurried to the door, saw it was open, and almost stepped through when a blurred form stepped in front of him. Joe stepped back, backing to the counter in his kitchen, trying to think of a way out.

Joe. Set the letter down, but keep your hand close to it.

Joe did as the letter suggested. The form in front of him became clearer, more redefined, and then as time snapped back to the present, the form solidified. Joe's mouth fell open in both surprise, and shock.

There, standing in front of him, stood Jack... or whatever Jack was supposed to be. He looked human in the fact that he still had two arms, two legs, a head and a body. Other than that, he looked like a mannequin that had been melted and then pored on a plastic action figure, five and a half feet tall.

"Hello Joe," the thing said.

"Are you Jack?" Joe asked, unsure if this was the same person, or thing, he;d spoken to before.

"Yeah. I'm Jack. Same old Jack. A bit older actually."

Joe glanced down at the letter, read the words as quickly as he could, and then, when he realized what the words said, he re-read them.

Jack is a simulacrum. We use them in the future. Automatons do everything. As a whole, humans are fat, dumb, and lazy. Jack is ours. He does whatever we ask. He's a robot, for all intents and purposes. Your servant.

"A fucking termin-"

NO. All automatons are built with the nine rules in place. Anything that can think on its own or make decisions, comes with those rules. We humans are the only things without morals anymore. Read. Quickly.

"I've brought you this," Jack said, holding out a small rectangle of white paper. Joe glanced at it, and then realized it was the envelope the letter had come in.

"Thank you," Joe said, reaching out and taking the envelope.

"Now that you know who, or what, I am. Do you have any requests?"

Joe turned, saw Mary come through the door behind Jack, pistol raised.

"Mary! Stop!" Joe shouted, but his words were drowned out by the sound of gun shots. He ducked, felt the burn from a bullet that tore into his right shoulder. Without thinking, he reached up to the counter, grabbed for the letter blindly. His fingers touched something.

Joe stood up. His ears rang with the words of Mary's last shout. Reality blurred. He felt like, in an instant, all color, pressure, time and space, warped. Something crushed in from the right and left, his vision stretched, elongating into infinitely thin filaments that brightened until they became as bright as the sun itself. Light blinked out, became darkness, and then light again.

Joe looked down to read the letter in his hand, and found the letter was not there. Nothing was there. His hands, his arms, were as white as the paper had been. Black words zipped into being across his flesh, and disappeared just as quickly. Everything around him was darkness.

Where am I? he thought.

Well. I didn't expect this, came his own reply.

What happened?

We... we undid the breaking. And, we undid everything else.

Un-did? Un-did? Like, all of creation?

Maybe. Maybe we just un-did our own existence. Maybe we only un-did ourselves.

If that was true, we wouldn't be here. We'd be gone.

How do you know? How do you know anything?

I know nothing. Who really knows anything?

What are you going to do?

Don't you mean, we? What are we going to do?

I suppose. What are we going to do?

Joe looked down at his hands, and then he held one out, and pointed. He thought a nice blue planet would look nice right there. And there, a star to keep it warm and provide light and life. A few neighboring planets and some asteroids to fend off any extra-solar comets that might fly by. An asteroid belt? A solar system, a group of solar systems, galaxies, and entire universe to play in.

Joe. What are you doing?

I'm fixing everything. And then, after that, I'm going on vacation.

Young AdultShort StorySeriesSci FiHumorFantasy

About the Creator

Kerry Williams

It's been ten days

The longest days. Dry, stinking, greasy days

I've been trying something new

The angels in white linens keep checking in

Is there anything you need?




Thank you sir.

I sit


Tyler? Is that you?


I am... Cornelius.

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