Leaked from the forums: Deja Vu (Part 8)

Copyright (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0): 2017 David Noë
Co-authors/players involved: David Noë, Laura Loolaid, Kieyotie McDermott, Drew Eckhardt
The original forum thread ran from May 2014 to Oct 2014.
Read more about the Forum Leakage project here: http://bit.ly/2gkGNrm
Read previous post in this series: http://bit.ly/2m3MNe0

And now onward to part 8!

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“Briar…” Corey muttered through grit teeth.
“Briar?” Knux accepted her hand.
“That’s Briar Rose to you.” She grinned.
“Quite a thorn in my ass, too.” Corey added with a scowl. “So what brings you here? Last time we met, you had me at gunpoint, happily blabbering about your bright history with the good Doctor.”
“Cervonious?” Knux broke the handshake and stepped back.
Corey stood his ground with a blank stare. “Not gonna lie, with all the weird stuff going on, I’m glad to see another familiar face. It’s not one I trust though.” He pulled out a cigarette. “And how would you know what we did “last time”?”

“The mixed feelings are mutual. Come, I will brief you on the way.” Briar waved them along, farther into the scrapyard.
“Now, technically speaking, you and I have never actually met. But I do know quite a bit about you two.” She pointed at Knux and Corey. “A version of me met with you briefly, and explained some things concerning Dr. Cervonius that likely didn’t make any sense at the time.”
She paused to pick up a compression control, looked it over, and tossed it back into the pile.
“The gist of it is that Doctor C has encountered your inter-dimensional boogieman, I mean, “the skilf” during his trans-dimensional experiments. One concept he learned from them was ‘setting the deck’. This is how they fight. They pick a stream of spacetime continuum that has the parameters they like. They will then invade the sub-variations of that continuum, keeping the “parent-timeline” intact; they learn by making all the mistakes and suffering all the losses, and with that knowledge assure themselves a victory in the “main branch”.”
Rose continued leading the others through the junkyard. “That brings us to what Greg, I mean Doctor Cervonius is doing. We have been learning how to manipulate spacetime continua using similar principles. He is using their own tech against them, cheating the reality if you will. With some tutoring from his multi-reality counterparts, Greg’s been gathering his own army. You are going to meet many people you know, people who are not the same. Like myself.”

Corey cut in. “Wait, if I was planted here, does it mean there was another me? Here?”
Briar suppressed a sigh. “What you need to understand is… This is the fabric of reality we are speaking of. Sure, we can change the parameters and “players” of any given timeline, but predicting where the reality takes it from there is another matter. Every new “traveler” brought in will trigger more unpredictability; multiple inserts multiply the chaos effect. That’s why we generally avoid allowing duplicates in any reality.” She sent a quick side-glance at the elder Knux.
“But how-”
She kept walking, her eyes on the ground. “Often enough you can simply choose a timeline that is lacking your chosen “player”. Sometimes there are negotiation options. Sometimes… not. Enjoy your free rejuvenation and don’t think too hard, you will give yourself nightmares.”
Briar came to a halt. “This is my ride.” She hopped into a junkyard service vehicle and pointed beyond the nearest heap. “And there’s yours.”

Corey looked where she was pointing and his eyes widened. He looked at Knux, then back at the ship. “Is that…”
“Yes. That’s Alexis… With some upgrades.” She threw a security sequencer to Corey. “Get on board, re-acquaint yourselves. Any questions you’ve got, ask Alexis.”
She fired up the trucks thrusters and spun around. “I’ve got a couple people to kill, but I’ll meet back up with you at your camp after dark. Tell your friend she can come out of hiding. And try not to get yourself killed before I get back!”

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