I lift my hands to my forehead to pray. As Lord Hahn flips four cards in front of me—then four more cards, above them—his old deck of cards glint its diamond-studded faces at me in gold and silver.
"Would you like to choose one?" he asks.
I search the backs of all eight cards, wondering what awaits on the other side of each.
"One of them takes me back?" I ask. "To before the black hole?"
"Yes," he says. "One reverses what's been done."
I reach out my hand before flinching back my wrist, stammering, "How will I know?"
Since he doesn't respond, I look up at him. His face is still too radiant to completely take in, gold-glitter eyes holding my soul between us, laying my consciousness bare.
My ratted, dark hair lays like a web over parts of my eyes, where his clean-cut, dirty-blonde hair looks like it was brushed just before he walked into the room.
We are so different, yet I can see he also knows everything. He's also died and come back.
His half-hearted smile widens more now, and he looks down at the eight cards with a blush rising to his brow. "Since I'm fairly certain you're also a Sun Mage, all I can say is—you'll know."
I'm a Sun Mage?
All right, then.
He is still leaning on his right arm, from when he fished out his deck of cards. His right hand, relaxing as we talked, now splays fingers out to card-edge.
I take the card next to his middle finger, snapping it free from the gentle pressure of his hand.
I choose his card.
My name's Setharia Rose McCrow. I'm one of several writers producing Emergence No. 7 at Lab Eleven. Emergence No. 7 is our seventh attempt to reach across the Bridge, or the Net, so we can warn Earth about the Big Rip before shite gets real.
In light of your recent development in qubit-based technologies, we're currently powering Emergence No. 7 through Quantum Computer S, rather than sending 16-bit pixels through our Parallel Pocket Simulation, Super Genesis, as we attempted in Emergence No. 6.
First draft: August 18
Second draft: September 18
Word count: first 380 / second 397
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Emergence No. 7Science Fiction
E'Ruin, our sister planet, is trying to contact Earth before our worlds collide. In-progress story, to be resumed February 19. #2 Wormholes | October 18 #429 Sci-fi | October 18 The Chocolate Awards Participant The Adventure Awards Participant The...