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I Demand a Better Future - Another Green World: Track 11: Becalmed (for Brian Eno)
Finding the way back to a viable reality

chimpstop
Date: 2008-10-14 16:53
Subject: Another Green World: Track 11: Becalmed (for Brian Eno)
Security: Public
Tags:another green world, city at the end of time, eno, prose fiction
He had entered the fate-mire willfully. For years he'd had sought to get back to a certain state of being. Of possibilities. Of potential. Of rapture. Of driven purpose. Of energy. Of Bliss.

He had entered that state once and only once, after several failed attempts, across a handful of years.

The state itself was nearly a Gape. If not a Terminus. He had heard about it for decades. Certain explorers and pioneers of the possible had given their lives to get to that state being, and sent back postcards, telegrams, detailed maps of how to get there and what to look for.

Initially he had blown it off. Pie in the sky. Dry Dreams. More interested in either making contact with the final mind at the end of all days, or making the subunits that would go into making that final mind.

And then, in a phase of shifting possibilities, he had experienced a brief taste of what it would be to get into that state, and live that way always. He was an instant convert. An instant knight of this new Graal quest. After the glow of possibility-index faded he realized it was the wrong time to move ahead on this quest. Nearly a year to go until the next opportunity. He’d have time to set up things to bring that about. And preach the gospel of living fates of selected possibilities.

He gathered around him new assistants, while friends and family stood by his goal. With just a taste of the maximized probability he had access to powers and abilities not granted most, and could induce bliss and good health at will.

The shaking and shaping of the possible had unforeseen consequences. Fates of crumpled possibilities began to manifest in family, friends, and followers. People saw their fate lines coming to an early termination. There was rebellion. His prime assistant in this quest turned against him, convinced his selected fates were nullifying hers.

The quest was postponed and went underground. It waited another turning of the world's path around the fate-lines of the sun.

In secret. In earnest. He began again. The gaining of that state of maximized fates could be held for an hour, some times more. What he had tasted during the Possibilities-Index two orbits prior was attained and quickly passed. Fates of choice sat in his hands.

Yet again something crept in from the domain wild-fates. A long term lover turned on him, trashed his ideas of living the possible, and stomped off in all possible worlds. No selecting of fates could find a strand where she was still in love.

A Sethian Gnostic Sect he occasionally celebrated the Mass of Barbelo with subtly and surely began to become distant and covertly hostile toward him. Suddenly and perversely, a random parishioner became the Cardinal of the West.

Then a neighbor fixated on him and his actions, and was convinced he was up to no good. No jaunting could shake this person's obsession, it existed in every world.

Eventually these wild-fates turned in on his main lines, creating a strand-collision and event pressure ridge.

The Ex-lover slashed the tires on his car.

The Gnostic Sect excommunicated him.

The Neighbor burned down his house and killed his cat. The killing of the cat: the most inexplicable event, as cats are natural fate shifters.

He jaunted. He jaunted hard and far.

He landed in a completely different life. A completely different career. He only juggled the possible in the slightest of ways, as the world he found, while not the best of all possible worlds was pretty damn good.

He coasted along for several years. In a state of nearly optimal fates. Nothing too great. Nothing too small. Just a moderate set of fates with interesting and lucrative work. The ability to travel around. Ample amount of sexual gymnastics.

But the wild-fates had followed him. It just took time for them to seep across the lines. And seep they did at the more general level. The Economy on which his company thrived experienced an elevated state of entropy: funds dried up. A backward political party gained control of the country. A war started as a result of that slipped-fate, as several cities were openly attacked by a phantom enemy.

And as it looked like the entire world was about to be plunged into war he picked up the task again, in a world of ever diminishing possibilities as world war and poverty hovered at the edge of all things.

This time there was no interference, though a fate-block that should have stopped him just became a fate-bundle for him to successfully apply his new refined abilities. Over several months he selected and refined the possible, spreading out into the greater world. The world seemed mostly the same, though the threat of war diminished to just his and a few other countries having open hostilities. The economy bottomed out, and began to rise.

Reaching the point the other explorers of the possible had reported he attained the golden moment, and stopped.

The world lurched.

He found himself in a fate where his finances were in a mess, but the world endured, and would weather the storms of war.

In times of trouble, he would find himself focusing on the fate-strands about him, and pulling better possibilities out of the hat of god.

He began to call these events "Lurches" for it was at a preconscious level that the non-optimum possibilities of his life would shift. On occasion he would contemplate taking up the quest again, and making it a conscious thing. Every time he did, non-optimum fates crept in.

There must be something wrong with his formulation and mapping of the process. Some day he would figure it out, until then he went speeding down his fate-lines, lurching to an optimum branch when dead-fates crept in.

Years later, his lurching became more predictable. More like a phase transition from one set of fates to another; not so much the fate-quake he's been using to get out of jail free.

Eventually, he set up a condition wherein he could explorer the true function of full command of the possible. Almost immediately the entire world-fate soured. Lurching and phase transitioning became impossible. Wild-Fates began to spread beyond his own fate-lines, infecting all possible nearby worldliness.

It was then he realized, after decades of tweaking the possible and this holy Graal for maximum controlled possibility, that the attempts to grab all the lines of fate in his hands and hold them for his own called forth the wild-fates that wore down the worlds. Greater reality had inertia of its own. This level of desired control was the penultimate fate-mire.

He was nearly totally embedded in strands of diminishing fates. This gave him access to places that were fate-dried, on the verge of Terminus, where his own world was skating. With an effort of will he fate-shed the entire concept-matrix of Possibility-Index into such a fate-shredded world line. A world in stasis had a sudden earth quake. Dry brush over ruins spontaneously burst into flames. Tornados of steam reached down from a pink sky.

Feeling into the possible he found himself once again free again. Taking a deep breath of the possible he skipped his way to a world that was neither too bad, nor too good. Just right.

(Also For Greg Bear)
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