Wednesday, October 10, 2012

IV. The Girl With The Forgettable Face

The Girl With The Forgettable Face

Oracle is sitting, legs crossed, floating in the air. His phone is stretched into a screen in front of him. Using both hands, he holds a gigantic pencil and writes on the screen. 

Oracle: I think I've nearly figured this out. I love when that happens.

MJ peeks around the corner of the phone. 

MJ: I still don't understand. It's just black. What are you poking?
Oracle: No time to explain. I've managed to make several changes to the room's code, and I think you're safe for now.
MJ: Safe? For now? What are you talking about?
Oracle: These rooms pop up now and then. They're quite crude, but effective.
MJ: [Worried] Effective? Effective at what?
Oracle: These rooms were programmed at the dawn of Knossos, to defend against spies. They're a sort of prison. You become locked in a loop, but unlike the natural glitches of Knossos, your memory is constantly updated. As you run out of space, your old memories get erased to make room for the new ones. You live in the loop until all you can remember is wandering. You won't even remember your own name.
MJ: But I remember my name!
Oracle: Yes, how lucky of you. [Oracle opens his coat and replaces the pencil.] We'll need to get out of here. It will be harder for you than it will be for me. 
MJ: And why is that?
Oracle: When you travel between worlds, your personal code is compiled upon entry. The world essentially reassembles you, provided the world's compiler is appropriate.
MJ: You're talking like there's more than one compiler.
Oracle: Exactly!
MJ: Why would there be more than one compiler? I've never been to a place that couldn't compile me.
Oracle: Plenty of wonderful, magical, beautiful worlds use alternative compilers. The use of alternative compilers is mostly for security purposes. 
MJ: Why wouldn't Themis want us to visit these worlds, if they're so magnificent?
Oracle: A lot of them are experiments. Some are private worlds for the rich. A rare few are self-generated. 
MJ: Self-generated?
Oracle: Of course. Just as people produce new people, some worlds produce new worlds.
MJ: How do you know of these worlds? How do you get into them?

Oracle stands up. He taps the phone and it returns to its normal size, falling through the air into his hand.

Oracle: The phone. It can compile anything anywhere.
MJ: Anything anywhere? How?
Oracle: You keep asking questions that I don't have time time to answer. I really, really hate questions.
MJ: Fine. One last question then. Why was I locked in a loop to erase my memory?
Oracle: That was the question I was hoping you'd answer. I do know one thing, however.
MJ: What?
Oracle: You've got to be important.
MJ: What do you mean? Why am I important?
Oracle: You see? Questions. All you do is ask questions. 

Oracle removes a glass from his back pocket. He sets it in the air and reaches into his coat, removing a bottle of whiskey. He pours it into the glass and returns the bottle to his coat.

Oracle: You put yourself here. [He sips the whiskey.] You created this world, and you locked yourself in it. [With a tone of curiosity.] Now what was it you were trying to forget?
MJ: Forget? I wasn't trying to forget anything!
Oracle: Not only have your forgot almost everything, but you have an interesting security feature. An interestingly clever, yet terrifyingly evil, security feature.
MJ: And that is?
Oracle: Whenever you're compiled, you initiate one of these loops. You, and everyone around you, will be trapped. No one will ever be able to remember meeting you, and I have a feeling it has been this way forever.

Oracle opens his jacket and removes a thermometer from the inside pocket. He walks towards MJ.

Oracle: Open up!

Before MJ can protest, Oracle inserts the thermometer into her mouth. Oracle looks down at his watch, tapping his foot impatiently. Finally he removes the thermometer and looks at it closely. 

Oracle: Well then! This settles it! [Oracle throws the thermometer over his shoulder.]
MJ: What's settled?
Oracle: What? Oh, don't mind that right now. Let's get out of here, shall we?

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