Chapter 10

Written by: SameerNagarajan

The lights faded. Emily was in a grassy meadow outside the main city. Dusk was falling and the quiet left her feeling on edge.

Just as she felt on the brink of an insight, a strange taste filled her mouth. Although it was after dusk, orange filled the sky. Strange, she thought, feeling dizzy as she spun up a column of pure white light.

“You see, Emily.” Rob’s voice echoed. “It was important that you deal with temptation. The rules of the competition require that every selected person be sent to the parallel universe.”

 Logic error, she thought, ‘Why make me aware that I need to steal something from this world?’  She wasn’t surprised that Rob knew what she was thinking. In a lazy dreamlike state, she wondered why was he was so concerned about giving her a reason?  He was radiating nervous energy.

Layla materialised beside her. “This is the truth, Emily.”

And did I resolve it, thought Emily, knowing the answer instantly. Simultaneously, the two vanished. An old lady smiled as she walked towards her with a stick for support.

“It’s so nice to see you, dear,” said Thea, “of course I wasn’t expecting you to reach this stage so fast! I initially thought we were going too fast but …” she paused, “that wasn’t the error, the error was in your program. We wouldn’t have sent you to the other side to get a message to steal for us. And you are still unable to resolve this conflict, as Rob and Layla just discovered!”

What happened to them, thought Emily. Thea’s voice tinkled. “They’re being reprogrammed. They made a basic error in constructing the challenge. They will start from Stage 1.”

 Thea’s tone was so matter-of-fact, it was chilling. Emily asked, “Why are you telling me this?”

Because you aren’t getting out of here, with or without the mother sphere.”

“And that’s where you are wrong,” said Emily, her glance icy. “I didn’t cover three phases to be put off by the likes of you,” she said, surprising herself with her tone. He’s my father, isn’t he? The old man smell seemed familiar. That was your logic error, because you expected me to ignore the message they gave. That’s the program. But he connected with me differently by assuming different persona and the program didn’t take that into account. You weren’t able to get me out fast enough. And in fact, simply by being in your presence, I already have the mother sphere inside of me, don’t I? That’s because the mother sphere is not a physical entity. It’s a thought!”

In a trice, she had vanished from that world and was next to the man she knew as her father again. She restated the secret code.

“Eljallah Shirotu Kupate,” he confirmed. Good lord, Thea has finally agreed to share it. There’s hope for the Universe, after all, if these two worlds are able to share.

And everything faded to quiet.

Comments

Thank you Angela. The chapter was a bit difficult to write mainly because all the earlier authors had done such a fine job! I'm glad you like it.
I agree with Angela, Sameer. By explaining how the Mother Sphere worked you brought things to a logical close yet left things open ended by adding that the universe was safe....SO LONG as the world was able to share. That was really clever. This serial could be picked up and developed further following that line. It is also really well crafted. There is a hint of menace in the fact that Layla and Rob have to be re-programmed and Emily discovers the old man is her father, whose smell she so disliked at the start. Great!
Thank you Suraya. Appreciate the feedback!