So we come to the last chapter. At last! resounding sigh of relief everywhere!
THEIR LAST BRAVE HEART
Every Tale needs its Ending
“One thing is clear,” muttered Einstersh as he struggled over the brilliantly-lit landscape of the planet he had always called home.
“What's that?” asked Amyersh.
“We've got to get used to things being very different,” he replied, grimly. “Everything we would have called familiar only yesterday has gone. The city has gone. Our homes have gone...”
“How can you tell that?” asked Smersh, almost sneering. Amyersh looked at him, surprised at the change in him. “How on Earth can you see what's happening under the ground from where we are, above the ground?” he added.
“That much is easy,” said Einstersh, pointing. “Look over there, my dear friend. Do you see that steep incline downwards and the level plain beyond it? There's so much light about you must see quite clearly what I mean!”
He was right about the light. It had started shining the moment the Committee, naked and inglorious, had demanded light, and it was still shining, illuminating everything in a dazzling array of what could only be brand new light.
“So what?” asked Smersh.
“That, my friend, is where you lived. That is where our proud City once stood. That is where the vast underground office with its seemingly endless supply of primates, all typing away at their keyboards, once stood. That is where we had our homes, our apartments. That is where the various Committees ruled over their small empires. And it is gone as though it had never been.”
“How come?” asked Amyersh.
“I'm not totally sure, but at a guess time ended back when we were struggling to get the car going, and when time ends, all of the things that were created during its reign would vanish too.”
“We didn't,” retorted Smersh. “We're still here. At least, I know that I am and I can see that you are...”
“We were in my old car,” sighed Einstersh. “I'm a scientist and you can't imagine I wouldn't have a few little tricks up my sleeve, surely? I've been studying the possibilities of the recent phenomenon for decades, ever since I became aware that the Universe was disappearing up its own backside, so to speak...”
“When was that?” interrupted Smersh.
Einstersh frowned at him. “As I said, decades ago,” he said, irritably.
“Carry on, “ urged Amyersh.
“What has happened was quite obvious to me,” sighed Einstersh, a little ponderously.
“What has happened is the final decay of our Universe. It has gone, disappeared, might never have been, and all of its glories have gone with it. As I said before, every dimension flickered out of being when the last energy left it. It ceased to have length or width or depth or any physical dimension because it ceased to be. It even ceased to have a place in the greater multi-dimensional playground where all the Universes swirl and sway and occasionally interact, and that playground has no finite dimensions. It is eternal, even immortal, in every sense. Time is irrelevant to it. But time was very relevant to our own Universe. Time was one of its dimensions, and time ceased to be when it disappeared from the face of existence. We, had we not been in the protective field of my car, would have ceased to be.”
“And your car was that powerful?” demanded Smersh. “It could combat the forces that destroy Universes?”
Einstersh shook his head. “That's not what it did,” he sighed. “I managed to create a tiny area, the field inside the car, that wasn't actually in the Universe. It, therefore, wasn't subject to the entropy that governed the ending of everything we found familiar. We could see through the windows at the final catastrophe. We saw the planet heaving to destruction.”
“And what's there for us now if everything's gone?” asked Smersh. “We're walking on the place, we can kick up sand and dust, we're alive and well: so what is the future as far as we and our lives are concerned?”
Einstersh shook his head and looked at Smersh with sombre eyes. “We have no future,” he replied. “We are not of the place we find ourselves in. We're not of this Universe and won't survive long in it. That much must be plain to you. Look at it like this: whilst we were in the car we played a trick on physics and survived that which should never have been survived. Now we're in a different place, a different time, a different everything. We won't survive.”
“I don't want to die...” wept Amyersh, suddenly understanding what the scientist was telling them. “I'm alive and want to stay that way...”
“You'll have to face facts,” began Einstersh.
Smersh turned on him. “You will not talk to my wife like that!” he shouted. “You cretin of a scientist! You have no answers, only despair! You're a despicable little nam!”
“Smersh!” stressed Amyersh, shocked at his outburst.
“Well, there's that Committee! He wasn't in the car, but he survived!” shouted Smersh. “If he can survive, so can Amyersh and I! And we'll do it best without scientists getting in the way with nonsense talk about Universes ending and death and stuff like that!”
He bent down and picked up a rock, and holding it tightly in his pudgy fingers he turned on Einstersh.
“I'll ram this down your wretched doom-ridden throat!” he shouted.
“What would be the point?” asked Einstersh, resignedly. “You might steal a tiny amount of life from me by killing me, but we'll all be dead soon enough anyway. As I said, we belong to a different universe.”
“You lie!” roared Smersh.
Amyersh eyed him with horror. “Smersh!” she said, shocked, “what's got into you? I've never seen you like this, not ever!”
“I'm fed up with science and scientists!” shouted Smersh. “All they tell you is bad news!”
“It may be bad news, but it's the truth,” replied Einstersh, alarm showing on his crusty face. “We are in a different Universe from the one we inhabited yesterday, and unless I'm much mistaken the main difference between this one and that we've just left is one of scale.”
“Now what rot are you trying to convince us of?” sneered Smersh.
Einstersh eyed him sadly. “I'm trying to tell you something really quite important,” he said. “So far as I can judge, and I don't think I'm wrong, this Universe operates on a completely different scale to the one that we're used to. Until it disappeared through a crack in time or whatever it disappeared through, Threa was an ordinary planet made up of countless trillions of atoms, just like any other. But we've somehow slipped into a alternate Universe and Threa is a very different thing.”
“What is it then, smarty-pants?” jeered Smersh.
“Threa is a single atom,” smiled Einstersh, gazing into the far-distance. “It, and we three, and everything on the place are component parts of the nucleus of a single, beautiful atom and all the lights around us, all the brilliance, everything we can see beyond its surface, are the result of a gigantic cosmic explosion.”
“That's nonsense!” sneered Smersh. “We've been told all out lives that we're made of billions – no, trillions – of atoms, each and every one of us, so how can we all be part of just one? It doesn't make sense!”
“It's just a matter of scale,” said Einstersh, thoughtfully. “You see, we are a tiny part of a single atom, but it's what that single atom is going to do very soon that really matters. Unless I'm very much mistaken we are hydrogen, and in moments, no longer than that, we are going to become part of a star, a reacting part of one of the biggest furnaces in this or any Universe...”
“And then?” asked Amyersh, pale and worried.
“If we're really lucky we'll come out of it as an atom of helium,” replied Einstersh.
“You're all under arrest!” boomed a voice, a familiar, mechanical voice, once again from somewhere behind them,.
And at that precise and wonderful moment a glorious reaction began with unbelievable and indescribable chaos, one that consumed the world of Threa and changed it in the way that stars can into something equally beautiful, but very, very different.
And the three brave beings vanished in the briefest of flashes whilst the fourth, naked and masturbating and very, very mechanical, conducted the silent orchestra playing inside its silicon brain and wondered why it had a sudden headache.
© Peter Rogerson 21.01.12