Sunday, October 7, 2012

III. A Man With A Phone

A Man With a Phone

All of the suited men have frozen in place. MJ touches a man to her right; he does not respond. She looks back to Oracle, who is looking into the eye of a man using a magnifying glass. 

MJ: They've frozen! 

Oracle turns towards MJ. He puts the magnifying glass back into his coat and walks towards MJ.

Oracle: You could say that. I've stopped the loop so we can investigate. 
MJ: You can't just do that!
Oracle: Maybe you think you can't, but that doesn't mean I can't. 
MJ: Clearly! Are you a hacker? 
Oracle: Hacker? Maybe. Not quite. Possibly a tiny bit. Matters who you ask.
MJ: So how did you stop the loop? You can't just freeze time! Knossos has rules about these things! It's not allowed!
Oracle: Almost anything is allowed, if you have this.

Oracle pulls the small rectangle from his pocket and hands it to MJ. She looks at it, puzzled.

MJ: I can't identify this. I've scanned the entirety of Mnemosyne and it doesn't exist!
Oracle: But it does! It's in your hand. Why trust your memory when you can trust your senses? 
MJ: We only experience sensation after the memory of it has been created and saved! I'm feeling it, seeing it, but Mneomsyne tells me there's no record of it, that I've never seen, it's like I'm not seeing it, but I am.
Oracle: Fickle beast, memory. Almost as fickle as mortality.
MJ: Is it because you've paused the loop? Has it disrupted the Link?
Oracle: No, no. That's not quite it. Give it here, I'll explain. 

MJ hands the rectangle back to Oracle. He sets it in the air and then begins to look through his pockets. He withdraws a small cell phone and hands it to MJ.

MJ: A cell phone? These are ancient! Why do you have all these useless trinkets? We don't need them!
Oracle: Useless? You know what's useless? All the power in the universe, if you don't have a bit of fun with it. Now press the send button.

MJ looks at the cell phone and presses a button with her finger. A ring is heard. She scans her surroundings for the source, and eventually stops when she sees the floating black rectangle. She grabs it from the air and holds it close to her ear. She investigates each side of the object and looks back at Oracle.

MJ: Is this a phone too?
Oracle: Exactly.
MJ: How can you stop a loop with a phone? Why do you even have a phone? A phone that doesn't exist?
Oracle: It's a rather special phone. Why wouldn't you want a phone? 
MJ: Where did you find this? 
Oracle: I've always had it. 
MJ: Always? That's impossible! Everything you say is impossible and irrational!
Oracle: More like priorly improbable. Very little is impossible, especially here.
MJ: And why can't I remember it? Why can't anyone remember it?
Oracle: You can remember it. My phone has it's own memory bank, it doesn't go through Mneomsyne. It's safer that way. National security, that type of stuff.
MJ: If the phone is so dangerous, why do you have it?
Oracle: I like to live on the edge. 
MJ: Yes, right. How silly of me! You're such a daredevil, riding your bicycle and calling people on cellular phones. Well Mr. Danger, what else can it do?
Oracle: How about what can't it do? Much shorter list, if the list still exists. I'd have to find it first.
MJ: You have a list of things it can't do?

Oracle is searching through his pockets, unsuccessfully.

Oracle: I know I have that list somewhere. [Pauses to think.]  I remember now!

Oracle removes his shoe and reaches inside. He withdraws a small sheet of paper, looks at it, and hands it to MJ.

Oracle: There you go.
MJ: [Reading.] An extended list of things the phone cannot do. One. Things that are impossible. [MJ turns the paper around and looks at the back. She turns it around again.] That's all? What kind of list is this?
Oracle: The extended list. 


  1. The story is progressing nicely, MJ's speech is a bit much relying on reaction from oracle, she has yet to show any character beyond being the audience surrogate.

    A expo heavy chapter (making it more better hidden that it's expo but still getting all the facts across could help there) but it is necessary to have at least one of these in sci-fi plots so that people understand the world.

    I'm enjoying where the story is going so far and apart from tiny niggle the series has potential to become amazing.

    1. Thanks for the comments. I think the next scene will both make MJ more of her own character and help with expo. She's actually more interesting than Oracle, you'll just have to wait and see why.