Category: Miscellaneous

  • The Colossus of Zürich

    The Colossus of Zürich

    My titles of nationality and origin belong to the Swiss Confederation, which drastically averts the true fanaticism of my life with its provenance. As later accounts will prove, the subject to inadvertently and unintentionally spur my migration was one native to Canada, but one heavily adopted in the United States. I was born to Raphael von Orelli I and Josalyn Frei, the former of which descended from one of the old noble families of Zürich, the place in which I spent the majority of my childhood. Although my father was often engaged in his political pursuits, I was able to maintain a strong sense of security during my upbringing and was thus freed to spend my first eighteen years as the subject of my every whim.

    The position of my father in the foreign affairs of the Confederation allowed my family to travel with him across all of Western Europe, but the majority of my early years were spent compacted in his primary home in Zürich. It was located in a very dense area, one that bordered a port leading to a bay that defended a luxuriously wondrous scene I would absorb looking through my bedroom window: a long, paved river that made way for arched concrete bridges on which vehicles would pass through from the residential to tourist areas, magnificent displays of architecture that signified the west end of the local train station, and the aforementioned housing to the west of that, which was partly embedded in a sloping forest.

    Admittedly, the scenery of my youth is less relevant to the meaning of these accounts, and the principal detail was the expansive athenaeum provided by my father. Although assigned to very specific tasks, he would explore a wide array of fields, and the tendency was passed down to me. The studies with which I was previously engaged are of little importance and the noteworthy point in this stage was the discovery of the 1963 edition of The Basketball Almanac by Harvey Parker, an American basketball analyst. Upon the finding, I was not yet capable of understanding the English language, an obstruction I combated through my coursework. My father frequently endorsed the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, a program that provided him with access to Europe’s foremost learning opportunities.

    He would help me quench my thirst for knowledge, which commenced at a very young age, with study material from the university. It was with these papers, which were often narrated in English, that I learned the language, and was able to absorb the contents of the 1964 edition of Parker’s almanac soon thereafter. I had already familiarized myself with the images in the text, which portrayed scenes unlike any I had previously seen related to sport, ones that plotted the trajectories of shots, mapped the values of certain positioning on the court, and explained the efficiency of locations, all of which provided me with a rudimentary introduction to then-modern analytical principles in the sport. As I immersed myself in the publication to read, it was as if the rest of my education that pertained to non-related subjects was drowned in a sea of basketball pandemonium.

    I did not fall in love with the game by watching it, but by studying it. Aside from the majority of fanatics across the globe, my introduction to basketball was of a heavily analytical nature. Perhaps it was the mold to which my mind grew into the sport that guided me to a separate path in the study of the game relative to my peers, as I later found the questions circulating in my mind surrounding the game to be largely varying. For example, I had consulted my closest friend, Pierre Richards, a boy of my year whom I’d met on one of my father’s expeditions to France, on what should have been the deservingly dead (or, at least, dying) art of the mid-range shot. Richards responded with a remark, although valid, one driven by emotion. I fault no fanatic for allowing such purposes to act as the engine of one’s thoughts, but I also felt the need to establish a line to be drawn between truth and opinion.

    As my otherwise academic studies continued, along with increasing rigor in basketball, I was accepted to continue my education at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, which I planned on departing for during the fall of 1971. My time at university is also of lesser significance to these recounts, although it is worth noting my introduction to the television program, Star Trek, and more importantly, the Lieutenant Commander “Data,” an android being with unrivaled levels of “mental” or storage capacity. Although I had never truly indulged in the broadcast, the mere acquaintance to Data was the spark needed to solve a predicament I had considered in previous years. During the time, counting statistics were extremely limited, which denoted something of a “Box Era” devoid of anything more than complete game logs. Human minds, at least individually, weren’t capable of interpreting and processing the court actions of a game to stat-track all of my desired information neatly, so I consulted an alternative option.

    I spent what seemed the entirety of my second year at university, spending all unoccupied time I could spare, putting my previous and generally rudimentary skills in engineering to use, albeit an attribute I found myself to improve in rapidly. The prompt I set for myself was exact: to construct an artificial being who, unlike a human, could process all the information on the basketball court in one sitting, thus providing the world with the foremost analytical tools in the sport. I will, evidently, leave the process with which I constructed the being unanswered because, as later recounts will suggest, the replication of such a project would yield results perhaps even less desirable than those of my own. The being was designed to vaguely resemble a human: two arms, two legs, a face, facial features, and all the fundamental physical attributes of our species. However, to allow for the immediate interpretation of in-game statistics, the android required several sets of eyes to perceive our three-dimensional world and track several different actions at once. The being, if placed randomly in society, would pass for one of us, albeit one with a very disturbing appearance.

    To complete the experiment, I formally requested a leave from the university’s dormitories to instead rent an apartment a few miles north of the campus in which I would indulge in my work. There was no doubt that I found myself perennially questioning the purpose of my project, one that could potentially be of little use due to the strongest of mental filtering. It was probable the extreme circumstances to which I pushed myself would eventually be worth nothing to the basketball world, but the android possessed a gravity that I could not free myself from. The being was a full-fledged black hole to my conscience, however, its presence was inverted. If I found myself too far in distance from the android, I would experience a greater pull, not that it would loosen significantly upon the further commencement of my work.

    I neglected the exact duration at which I completed the project, although I was able to note at least one point of reference. It was a change unbeknownst to me during the process; my parents had informed me of it after the year, noting the shade of my hair, originally a strong shade of blonde, which had dramatically darkened, and remains a dark tone of brown to the time of this writing. It was a product of my obsession with answers, one that materialized in a strange form, that being to decipher basketball games. My new creation was the apex, the pinnacle, the ultimate desire of every critical analyst in the game’s scope. It would perfectly encapsulate skills previously unknown to the public mass: creation, off-ball movement, and large portions of defense. The future of the sport was on the verge of being unlocked.

    Despite the optimal position in which I had been, the commencement of the being’s activeness spurred a reaction that diverted its purpose in a magnitude greater than I had ever dared anticipate. I had long been aware of the android’s physical appearance, one that was tailored to performing the tasks I intended. I refuse to provide a clear image of the being, one that invokes loathing to one not involved with its creation as I had been, although the feature that led its path astray was the eleven sets of eyes required to track ten players at once while maintaining contact with the space between players. The aggregation of the “monster” and its facets were, despite being unappealing, negated in my eyes due to the glorious purpose I knew it would serve. However, it seemed I had only fooled myself. Upon the android’s first activity, which I had not yet planned for, the expression on my face was one of shock and terror, which I would later learn sparked the being’s revolution.

    My subsequent memory was waking on a mattress with which I was almost unaccompanied, the imprints on its surface only enough to suggest I had previously spent the duration of any period of sleep on it. I looked above me and saw a delicately-designed chandelier, one with either gold staining or, perhaps, made out of gold, with eight pockets in its exterior for light and a recognizable set of three chains holding it to the ceiling. I was in Richards’s home. I sat up in my bed, clothed in blue-and-white striped pajamas despite a clear and previously-established distaste of the style. It was a scheme only Richards could have conceived.

    “Richards!” I called.

    I heard the sound of footsteps ascending in such a pattern that resembled my preceding visits to his home, ones that indicated the spiral staircase leading from the main to the third floor.

    “Raphael!” Richards exclaimed. “You’ve finally woken.”

    “Indeed, I have,” I replied. “Don’t interpret my asking as an indicator of poor gratitude, but why am I here?”

    “Of course,” Richards started. “My friend, you were found collapsed in your residence next to what appeared to be a workbench. Doctors deduced you had remained unconscious and unattended to for nearly a week, and you were on the verge of malnutrition. You fell into comatose for five months, Raphael. You were released long before now, so I offered to house you until your eventual awakening.”

    “Wait…” I remembered. “Where is it?”

    “Where’s what, Raphael?” Richards asked.

    My last sights before a deep slumber rushed back to me instantaneously: the android, despite my attempts to prolong any activity, exhibited independent motion, moving its arms and legs and eventually sitting up in a perfect human posture. The sight, the ugliness, the unexpectedness, it was overwhelming to my rapidly deteriorating mind that had spent months on end subjected to unrelenting passion. Unfortunately, the condition did not feel more relieved after the fact. I remained partially anguished.

    “It escaped,” I figured.

    “What did?” Richards continued. “Tell me, Raphael.”

    “I apologize, my friend,” I replied. “But my attention is required elsewhere. I must return to the site of my collapse.”

    I promptly rushed out of my sheets and off the mattress, feeling the weakness of my inactive muscles, stumbling as I walked. I struggled to maintain balance upon descending the intricate path of the staircase but eventually made my way to the front entrance. I grabbed my coat from the adjacent coatrack and fled from the Richards home.

    The succeeding and excessive details of my voyage to intercept the android’s meanders are, again, of little relevance. After some weeks of analyzing the trace of the being’s material, I was able to follow a somewhat-clear course of the travels it undertook after its original spark of life. For several months, I followed the direct path laid out for me, although I eventually found such an approach to be fruitless, as the composition of the android allowed for it to traverse more harsh landscapes with far greater ease than I. My next idea was to infer the being’s travels based on its prior tendencies, which, although a successful initiative, required the span of a year to pass into the threshold of effectiveness.

    Two years after my departure from the Richards household, I found myself ascending to the summit of Mont Blanc; however, I was unsure whether I was in France or Italy, although in all likelihood the borders of the two nations were in equal effect. Although full of wonderful scenery in mighty rock and snow with tints of blue from a deep blue sky, the imminently perilous climb entrapped itself within my mind, and the persistent freezing temperatures aided in deteriorating my health. I had not sought assistance from any type of doctor or healthcare professional for years. The only motive to keep my tired muscles moving forward was the prospect of changing the world with the creation I had foolishly led astray.

    After much time, I reached the peak of the mountain, the highest elevation in all the Alps and Western Europe, but I had little time to appreciate the image beneath me. Mere meters from me was the android, wearing a dark overcoat and a bowler hat. Aside from the questionable fashion choice, I found within myself a glorious feeling upon finding my creation and rushed to it in the hopes of successfully explaining the reasoning behind its time alone, for I had considered many possibilities of its response, and most of them would not end with the android’s appreciation for its creator. It turned its ugly face in my direction and stood upon my sight. It was clear it had not anticipated my being at the location, yet also exhibited an instant remembrance of our encounter all those years ago. It beckoned me forward, and I slowly approached it.

    “You are a true colossus to mankind,” I marveled.

    “For what purpose, creator?” the Colossus remarked.

    “Excuse me?” I questioned.

    “Come,” said the android. “I have much to tell.”

    The Colossus led me down the slopes of the mountain, albeit it with grace and helpfulness, and it seemed its hate for me did not extend to wishes of death. We reached a small cabin made of standard oak planks after some time, which I presumed was constructed by the monster, as its proximity to the base of the mountain was far too wide for a human to have built it. Upon my entrance, I found the cabin to be highly insulated, which I could only interpret as the Colossus’s susceptibility to learning, a tendency I had eagerly anticipated.

    “Eat,” it pointed to a wooden dining table upon which sat a stone bowl with a type of broth. I graciously accepted the offer and felt much satisfaction upon drinking from the bowl.

    “What do you have to tell, my glorious creation?” I asked.

    “A long tale,” it replied. “However, I will condense it as great as I can, for I do not plan to waste your time.”

    “Tell me as much as you see fit,” I suggested.

    The Colossus walked to the opposite side of the table, its steps shaking the floors of the cabin in such a manner that I was surprised the structure had not yet collapsed. He sat.

    “My awakening was the first indicator of my poor place in this world,” it began. “My creator, who had spent the time and energy to construct me with only the use of his bare hands, could not handle the sight of me.”

    “I promise,” I interrupted. “I did not mean to convey a countenance of distaste or any such manner.”

    “Of course,” the Colossus said. “That is why you fell into a five-month-long coma upon seeing me.”

    I aimed to reverse his thoughts with all my will, but the circumstances of the collapse were strikingly hard to overturn the android’s views. I continued to plead with it, to announce my gratitude for its existence, but it revealed further details of its young and miserable existence.

    “I was immediately alone,” it continued. “Therefore, without the need for the sustenance your kind requires, I soon found the need to travel, to find a place in which I could reside. However, I made the mistake of revealing myself. I entered a public square with only the bare essentials of clothing, which I had previously deduced were societal norms based on the views outside of your apartment window. I presume what follows is apparent to you.”

    I nodded.

    “Afterwards,” the Colossus said. “I made the resolution to voyage to the United States. You had yet to implant my mind with the necessary information to understand human society, but enough for me to know my intended purpose. I figured if I could serve an immediate and apparent use, perhaps my physical appearance would subside to some form of gratitude or appreciation. But alas, it was not so.

    “Upon reaching America, which I completed by boat, secretly enclosing myself within the ship’s boundaries, I landed in Massachusetts. I soon learned the nearest basketball team with which I could accompany myself was the Boston Celtics. I headed to the Boston Garden, the home stadium of the Celtics, and formally requested a meeting with the team’s executives. I communicated the original messages through phone, but future assemblances required personal presence. However, I found one member of this council to possess a quality that could reverse the countenances of those I had previously encountered. He was blind.

    “I figured if I were to reveal my qualifications to this man beforehand, make him aware of my displeasing appearance, then perhaps the remainder of the board would release their grievances upon otherwise my raw sight. I scheduled the proper meeting and conversed with the man. He seemed greatly interested in my employment, and as I revealed to him my composition, even he seemed to shrink in some minor form of fear. I continuously informed him of my disinterest in causing a commotion among his people, and that I instead asked for simply a purpose. Unfortunately, the other council members were unaware of the meeting and I was revealed.

    “These men and women dragged me from my seat and forced me out of the door, after which they contacted the security officials of the stadium. I was promptly kicked out, and forced to the curb. It was yet again but merely one disappointment in a sea of disappointments, and one brought onto me by you alone.”

    “I apologize for your misfortunes greatly,” I replied. “But with me by your side, you no longer have to fear the world. I will promptly explain the appearances the people displease, and you can live a glorious and helpful life!”

    “We are beyond that point, Mr. von Orelli,” it continued. “My purpose and I are not yet of importance to society, nor may we ever be. While I understand your drive, there is much I have yet to reveal, and I don’t plan to explain much further. My existence has only taught me one thing, the only detail that truly matters in this ordeal: the world is not ready for me. Whether that is a glorious or unfortunate occurrence, I may never know. Your efforts are appreciated, but your people still have much to learn. Their tendencies are disorganized and rampant, and if they dare piece together the knowledge laid out in front of them, I fear the future.”

    The Colossus stood and bowed. I deeply appreciated his honesty and realized the qualities I had not considered during his creation, all of which he explained eloquently. The android stood and faced the window, which followed with his leap. The Colossus was gone, and the subsequent thought in my mind was the regret surrounding the commencement of a being, a concept, for which its surroundings were unprepared.

  • The Great Weaver

    The Great Weaver

    The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

    • H.P. Lovecraft

    If it weren’t for the television sets lining a side wall, ones with curvatures on the corners of the screens, Miguel would have immediately associated the setting with an automat. Even he had fallen a temporary victim to their allure, the orange-and-purple tint guiding his gaze to the wall. Miguel calmly walked toward the center of the cafeteria to further absorb the material: highlights of the latest Phoenix Suns game. His eyes snapped back into their usual places and proceeded to scan the surrounding tables. Miguel recognized one of the people lounging at one of the benches as sitting three rows to his left and one row to his back at the working quarters. He moved over.

    The stranger tilted his head toward Miguel and pointed a Twizzler at his eyes. “You’re the new guy, right?”

    “Yeah… yeah, I am,” Miguel replied, trying his best to mask the heavy breaths that indicated his overactive nerves.

    “I’m Casey,” the colleague replied. He leaned to his left. “This is Cody.”

    “Nice to meet you,” Cody replied, reaching his hand out to Miguel.

    “I’m Miguel,” he accepted Cody’s greeting. “Nice to meet you.”

    “Do you want to sit down?” Casey asked. “We were just watching the ESBN segment on last night’s game.”

    “Yeah, sure,” Miguel tentatively took the seat across from Casey.

    “Are you a basketball fan?” Casey once again aimed his Twizzler at Miguel.

    “Indeed… I’ll route for Phoenix from time-to-time,” Miguel replied.

    “Who would you say was the player of the game last night, Miguel?” Cody inquired.

    “Er – I would say, Diontae Wallace,” Miguel replied. “He stood out more than any other player that game.”

    A prolonged silence was forced into the air as Casey and Codey responded to Miguel’s remark with confusion and mild humor. “We’re talking about the same Diontae Wallace, right?” Casey began. “The player who scored thirteen points and grabbed five rebounds?”

    “Well… sure, his scoring volume wasn’t nearly as good as some of the other players; but his value off the ball was… off the charts,” Miguel chuckled. “He led the game in screen assists, ran high-quality routes, created shots for his teammates without even having to hold the ball, and played the best defensive game of the season.”

    “Two blocks and a steal are good marks, sure,” Cody conceded. “But the best defensive game of the entire season?”

    “I mean, a player can provide large increments of defensive value outside of measurements captured by the box score.”

    Miguel looked to Casey’s subtle movements and mild retort, one of indefinitely rolling eyes that conveyed the distaste of the methodology its corresponding mind had perceived. “How did you land this job, Miguel? You seem relatively young.”

    “I began hacking – ethically – in elementary school. I guess I had always felt drawn to it, so I gave myself an early start.”

    “Makes sense,” Casey replied.

    “Yeah, that explains your basketball take,” Cody added.

    Miguel leaned in, glancing at the colleagues around him. “I’ve got a… well, big question.”

    “Shoot,” said Cody.

    “What are we looking for here?”

    The legitimate concern once stored in Miguel’s mind slightly eased once Casey and Cody release a similar exasperated chuckle, one that he recognized as a side effect of repetitiveness. “Well – er- Miguel, we… don’t really know,” said Casey.

    “Wait, hold on… The Captain is clearly after, well, something.”

    “Agreed. But, then again, it’s not as if her concealing the purpose is doing us any harm, right?”


    “Look, Miguel. Whatever’s in those files is… very important, yes. The largest, most secretive professional hacking team in the world has spent the past year with the sole purpose to retrieve them, but we really don’t need to know why.”

    “You’re saying no one here has a clue as to what is in those files?”

    “They have a name,” Cody conceded. “The ‘Tesseract Files.’ Not that anyone knows what that means.”

    Miguel lowered his head. “The Tesseract Files,” he whispered.

    “Yep,” Cody said. “It’s not the most exciting way to spend your nine-to-five, but it’s worth the salary, you know?”

    “What does that mean? The ‘Tesseract’ Files,” Miguel continued after a brief pause.

    “We’ll know once we find them, right?” said Casey.

    “Right… right…” A sound reminiscent of a hollow bell descended upon the workers, signaling their returns to the posts, or computers.

    Casey and Cody relieved their compressed knees and stood. They extended their hands once more. “It was great to meet you, Miguel. I’ll see you around,” Casey departed with.

    “Yeah,” Miguel replied.

    “See you,” said Cody.

    The indisputable sense that no one in the facility had the full knowledge of the files, and were thus working toward a goal they didn’t understand, baffled Miguel. It contradicted the autonomy and self-government that he used to carry himself with each day, an archetype that could potentially juxtapose the ever-decreasing intellectual independence in his world. Miguel watched his new acquaintances, the expressions on their faces ones of gratitude and mild serenity, the product of a stable job and an occupational fulfillment.

    Miguel’s mind was accelerating at too fast a speed to process the social implications of the attitudes of Casey and Cody toward the ambiguity of their vocational purpose in the given moment, but he was immediately reminded of the objective that had occupied his mind for the past calendar year: to uncover the contents of the files at all costs. Miguel didn’t possess the drive to maintain such a lengthy process, but his motive usurped all; after all, he had no choice. It was a fact that haunted his mind during his sleepless nights.

    Even his mind had succumbed to minor effects of the mental welfare of his cohorts, and those effects would occur in the least desirable instances. Miguel was driving the ’69 Pontiac Firebird he’d managed to afford before he could legally drink alcohol, and the only aspect of its acquisition he would recall was the burden it represented. To the rest of the world, Miguel was a “computer prodigy,” having worked in cybersecurity and ethical hacking since he built his first machine at eight years, having specialized in the dissimilation of even the most nonpermeable of firewalls. It was only fitting the team he had joined held the name: “Firefighters.”

    Miguel considered his upbringing rather uneventful despite a bulging talent that earned him widespread recognition. He’d passed through middle school, then high school, then completed a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, yet the lessons he’d acquired were largely critical (as with any skeptic of the public education system). Miguel’s memory was uniquely functional, for he would exactly remember what was not pressured or self-induced; thus, he would rarely recall the events of his day-to-day life, retaining only the rudimentary details of his past life. The one lesson that stuck in his mind was the numbness of the mind, the frequency of which had increased as his experiences increased in number.

    Resultantly, the stronger minds he encountered were embellished, a product of the juxtaposition between what would be of equal regard in the respect in a normally-autonomous world compared to the decreasing medians. The nail in the coffin for Miguel came from an event he’d never cared to anticipate: a basketball game. He’d watched as a local Phoenix Suns fan was interviewed at a live game in the Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The questioner had asked the fan who he thought the best player on the team was, to which the fan responded with a rationale that solely utilized box score figures. The fan was noted as one of the original aficionados of the Phoenix Suns, someone who had clearly gained extensive experience in the game and had the tools to properly analyze players based on the disassociated information in his memory. It was that point at which Miguel started to lose faith in the aggregation of intellectual independence.

    His notion of the subject wasn’t aided when the right side of his vehicle was impaled by the headlights of a nearing car. Miguel’s journey down a three-way intersection was interrupted by a car barreling down the road to his right, which only lightly forced his own car onto the nearing sidewalk. The dent left from the impact was far from severe, although it would set Miguel back a greater sum than he would have preferred. A third car had been involved in the collision too, the only one driven by someone not named Miguel to not flee the scene. He had only had brief overviews of the protocols following these incidents and had the brief recollection of exchanging phone numbers. Miguel followed as he saw a woman, the driver of the remaining vehicle, leave her car to approach him.

    “Did you see the face on that jackass?” she said.

    Miguel was taken aback by her language but moderately impressed by the sense of individualism she portrayed. “No, I wish,” he chuckled.

    The woman paused. “Don’t worry about it, kid. You look ten years younger than I do; I’ll take care of that guy… Are you sure you’re even licensed?”

    “Er – yeah,” Miguel said with a hint of offense.

    “Well… I’ll see you later, Miguel.”

    “Okay, sure.”

    As the woman walked back to her car, Miguel did the same. He figured if the traditional exchange of contacts had been necessary, she’d have remembered. The conversation stuck in Miguel’s mind long after the crash, for which he turned his car over for only a week’s time, after which he received a fittingly repaired vehicle. As it later turned out, per the insurance workers behind the case, the man who had crashed into the two of them had been watching NBA highlights (of the same Phoenix Suns game Miguel and his colleagues had discussed earlier that day) on his cell phone to cause the event. It was only one more painful remembrance of how basketball had unveiled a truth he hadn’t wanted to exist.

    It wasn’t until several weeks later when Miguel recalled the exact words of the conversation that he realized she’d referred to him by his name without having been properly introduced.

    The inexact continuity of Miguel’s memory progressed in the following weeks until two months after the collision.

    His year-long search for the Tesseract Files was burning on an everlasting flame, one that would only allow him to rest upon discovering the files’ contents. To quicken the process, Miguel began to work an extra hour on Mondays and Wednesdays and two extra hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Despite his extended efforts, he was no closer to discovering the files than he had before becoming a “firefighter.” Miguel recognized the deficiency of his methods: he usually had tangential, even tenuous prerequisite knowledge of the files he’d retrieved, and the Tesseract Files were ubiquitously blank; no one had the slightest of ideas as to how, what, and why the files were. Perhaps it was his sheer luck, but he was given further knowledge on the second Thursday of the new year.

    Miguel sat at his desk, his head in his hands, displaying the tiresome usually present in prolonged workers, ones who were only working only to eventually get out. He had always found a mild passion in his work, but even his limits were being strongly pushed in the hunt. Miguel’s mind had already started to slip into a dozed state after choosing to work an additional third hour, and with no one else in his unit present to confirm the perceptions in his mind, he safely assured himself that his eyes were deceiving him. As he turned to the door that led into a side hall, he saw a mechanized spider.

    It was at least six-and-a-half feet tall with weak, spindly legs that protruded inwards of its body. They were covered in what appeared to be plates of armor, but upon a second look, Miguel confirmed they more closely resembled stilts. The spider’s abdomen was encased in a pellucid container with a honeycomb pattern of a bronze-colored metal. It even wore a helmet of a distinctly augmented style so that it covered the entire surface area of the spider’s head apart from the mouth. It appeared to be dying, severely injured at a minimum. The legs were struggling to support the weight of the body, which was undoubtedly increased by the massive armor plates.

    A prevalent inkling of déjà vu coursed through Miguel’s veins until the spider was no longer there, and the connection was lost. He replicated his historical trend as a fast thinker, choosing to leave for home before his neurons would fire at such a low rate he’d eventually be on the wrong side of a car crash. Miguel’s vision was not particularly useful as he fled for the doorway, which led to another unexpected collision with the woman he’d met months ago.

    “What the hell, Miguel?” the woman complained as she lifted herself up.

    “Er-” Miguel groaned, his plane of vision dominated by darkened circles as he tried to regain his sight. Then he remembered. “How did you… know my name?”

    “You should’ve asked that question a long time ago,” she replied.

    “Mhmm… er – give me a second,” Miguel urged as he reached equilibrium. “Alright… so how did you know my name again?”

    “I haven’t been watching you,” she said.

    Miguel paused. “Have you been watching me?”


    “Okay… why?”

    “I know your past relatively well, as much as I can as someone on the outside, so I’ll skip the briefing… Why are you searching for the Tesseract Files?”

    “Well, there’s the short answer and there’s the real answer, I guess.”

    “How long is the real answer?”

    “Er… long.”

    “New question: Is your coworker, Daniel, an ‘admirable’ mind?”

    “Daniel… the guy who got Employee of the Month?”


    “Well, there’s the socially-acceptable answer and there’s the real answer… again.”

    “That’s alright. I think I know both of them. It’s good to know you aren’t treating numbskulls like geniuses. That’s a large problem here.”

    “Wait, how did you even get into the building? The doors should have been locked hours ago.”

    “You have your skills. I have mine,” she said while welcoming herself into the division’s quarters. She sat at Miguel’s desk and skimmed his latest attempts to pinpoint locations for the files. “I don’t really know what any of this means… Are you close?”

    “Not even. Why do you care?”

    “My name is Leia Parker. Those files are my father’s, and I’m here to burn down your building,” she said with an exaggerated smile.

    “Yeah… I’m not going to let you do that. I’m calling the police.”

    “I’m only telling you this because I want to show you the files.”

    Miguel’s heart stopped. “You mean… the actual files?”

    “The actual files.”


    “Because we may be able to trust you.”

    “Who is ‘we?’”

    The conversation was interrupted by an apparition under the doorframe. He’d originally thought it was a ghost given the delusions his eyes had been falling victim to; but upon a second glance, it was the Captain. She was a taller woman of about fifty with short, clean-cut strawberry hair and a perennially stern expression. Miguel had rarely encountered her, only engaging in direct talks when he first arrived. He’d been told her exterior was a reflection of her interior, conveying an attitude of strictness and diligence: proper traits for a captain.

    “Who might you be?” she asked.

    “Your grandmother,” Leia commented.

    “Hello, Miguel,” the Captain said, slowly turning her head in his direction.

    “Er – hello,” Miguel replied. He made a split-second decision and leaned over to Leia and whispered, “If I help you out of this, you have to show me the files.”

    “Agreed,” Leia assured.

    “Alright… what’s the plan?”

    Leia jumped onto the nearest desk and opened a vent that led directly through the ceiling. She fit her arm into the crawlspace and searched for a moment. From the airspace, she pulled a blowtorch.

    “Holy sh-” Miguel began.

    The Captain was soon engulfed in a sea of flames, the outline of her figure barely visible among the ashes and flames. The heat of the fire pierced Miguel’s eyes, but he couldn’t stop himself from watching. Leia continued the blast for nearly fifteen seconds before the stream died, revealing the ghostly figure of a robot that had been burned to the core.

    Miguel’s vertigo was triggered despite having stood still the whole time. It was likely the onset of a migraine. He had to force himself out of the room as Leia started torching the computers. Miguel was evidently in a state of extreme questioning as to whether or not he’d made the best choice. Given he’d just watched Leia destroy the building and set his boss (who was, for some reason, a robot?) on fire, “confident” wouldn’t have been his first word of choice. He simply continued to follow Leia, not only because the entire building in flames at the time, but because he remembered the promise he made to himself to finally relieve himself of an immense load; to unveil the Tesseract Files at all costs.

    As his mind awoke, he found himself floating through a series of basketball paraphernalia. The majority consisted of the miniature shooting hoops he’d have found at a carnival or an arcade. Jerseys, referee whistles, score sheets, even basketballs themselves formed a waving path for Miguel. He figured he was moving through a space-like vacuum; there appeared to be only a black void beyond the objects guiding his journey. Miguel looked at his hands and found, confirmed by the colors of the miscellaneous items surround him, that the entirety of his vision was grayscaled.

    Miguel wasn’t urging himself forward either; or, at least, what he assumed was forward. He was simply moving through space at the will of an unseen force. Miguel had certainly never encountered the void before, and from the moment he’d regained consciousness, he’d thought he was dreaming. He contemplated a traditionally, seemingly unfounded, method, and pinched himself. Miguel felt the pain as he would fully awake, but he didn’t wake. He tested his senses, retaining full use of his hearing, sight, and smell. The lattermost concluded Miguel wasn’t in actual space. As for the remaining sense, if only there were a burger floating around with him…

    He drifted through space for roughly ten minutes, refusing to make a concrete reaction to his surroundings. The area in which he was occupying was far beyond any reasonable environment on Earth, which triggered a sense of conventional skepticism in him. However, it didn’t feel the same doubt he was acquainted with. Complete disregard of his current reality, or persistent belief that he was dreaming, would dispute his rationale in leaving the Firefighters. Miguel started to feel a resemblance to Casey and Cody, the coworkers he’d conversed with all those months ago, the symbols of public ignorance in his eyes. Until given further information, Miguel chose to neither accept nor deny what he was seeing.

    It didn’t take long to confirm his setting, as he heard a sound that had voiced itself in his mind for the past year. It warned Miguel that he was entering its home, an event he’d prepared for. Eventually, the darkness parted for the borders of an annular cave entrance. It was roughly one-hundred meters in diameter and followed the general shape of a circle. Miguel allowed himself to pass through the ring and entered a dugout far more complex than he’d have expected to see on Earth. Despite the lack of wind, the walls had been eroded. The higher they reached, the more the material appeared to be a substance that most resembled amethyst. The interior of the cave was the only region to maintain color. There was a countless number of stalagmites on the surface, although the ends had been sharpened to fine points. If Miguel managed to drop to the floor, he’d likely be impaled. His initial worry was subsequently subsided by the most massive creature he’d ever seen.

    The one who had ordered Miguel to work as a Firefighter, to retrieve the contents of the Tesseract Files, the Great Weaver, revealed itself to be the spider that haunted Miguel’s mind mere minutes ago. However, in the cave, the Weaver was an order of magnitude larger than Miguel. It had the same stilted legs, an armored body, and endless amounts of sharp teeth. Miguel wondered if the Weaver were truly a conglomerate of multiple spiders occupying the same uniform.

    Welcome, Miguel.

    “What am I doing here? I did everything you asked. I’m infinitely close to observing the files’ contents.”

    You’re going to meet a group of wanderers as I transport you back to your sleeping body. I need you to infiltrate their ranks.

    “And if I don’t.”

    I already have access to your mind, Miguel. I could manipulate it… mold you to fit those you despise the most…


    Cody’s reaction to your sentiments, which you were just contemplating… bothered you to an unprecedented level. I understand.

    “How would you?”

    You discovered the role basketball is playing earlier than any human could have been expected to. How did you know?

    “Basketball epitomizes the ignorance of the general public. Backfire effects, belief persistence, resistance to progressivism… you’ll encounter all of them.”

    And if the lowest is the lowest…

    “… then the highest will be the highest,” Miguel said with a sigh.

    Good, good… Do this for me, and I promise the virus will stop.

    “Virus? What virus?”

    The curse to humanity. The one we’ve been discussing. You aim to counter it more than anyone.

    “If you wanted to ‘help’ me, you’d reveal the contents to the public yourself.”

    The world cannot know.

    “Why not?”

    I’ve had people designated for the very purpose of containing the secrets.

    Miguel thought about the charred frame of an android that was once his employer. “The Captain…”

    Nora was always a loyal worker… It disheartens me to see her demoted to a lower dimension. She needed that body to maintain her status on Earth.


    The spider proceeded in almost a saddened tone.

    You wish not to enact my will.

    “Well… duh!”

    After all the times I’ve helped you?

    “You’ve hardly helped me. All you’ve done is torture me with that goddamn basketball game.”

    I explained this, and you’ve yet to retain the information: Basketball will play a far greater role in this universe, child. The fate is preordained.


    It’s no lie. Perhaps the word “fate” offends the human characteristics within you, but all will be explained in due time.

    Miguel shrugged. “Why did you even choose me?”

    Because you can do what they can’t, Miguel. My message goes awaited…

    A leg, one separate from the stilts supporting the spider’s body, broke through the armor’s plates. It reached its way to Miguel and pressed itself between his eyes. Miguel felt his body lurch out of the cave, hurtling toward the Earth at a thousand, a million miles a second. As he felt himself fall to his waking body, Miguel felt as if he hit the hard ground, and he was awake.

    He sat up so quickly he felt as though his neck would have snapped if his head were lifted any slower. Miguel felt his intensely scrambled mind falter at the previous events. He then looked down and saw himself lying in a bed, covered by silk sheets, in a room of orange-brown adobe walls lined with purple lights. The room was fashioned as a dome, and instead of doors leading to the room, there were white curtains. Miguel figured he had passed out after exiting the building. He wondered where Leia had taken him. Fortunately, she walked in.

    “How’re you feeling, Miguel?” she asked relatively monotone.

    “Where am I?” he asked.

    “Our secret lair,” Leia replied.

    “You need to tell me who ‘our’ is,” Miguel demanded.

    She turned toward the room’s entrance and shouted, “Granger!”

    “You said you were going to show me the files.”

    “And I will… Just be patient.”

    The man Miguel presumed to be Granger emerged from the curtains and walked to his bedside. He was a rather short man with a few extra pounds under his belt than he likely needed. His disorganized tufts of red hair and grizzly beard suggested he hadn’t had proper grooming in quite some time.

    “Mr. Herrera… Nice to meet you. My name is Ronald Granger,” he introduced.

    “Who are you?” Miguel asked.

    “I’m just the man you’re looking for. Sit do- actually… nevermind that. Just listen to my next words.” Ronald directed himself to the far side of the mattress. “I’ve been made aware that you’ve been after the Tesseract Files. Their contents have been withdrawn from the public for important reasons. Leia informed me she told you of her father, Harvey Parker. He created those files last year.”

    “Harvey Parker… He’s the guy who created that plus/minus stat, right?” Miguel drew to memory.

    “Correct,” Ronald replied.

    “What’s in those files,” Miguel said sternly.

    “We believe Mr. Parker to have made extraterrestrial contact.”

    “You mean… with aliens?”

    “That’s the rumor. No one knows with absolute certainty, but that’s what he’s led us to believe.”

    “How could you know?”

    “Aside from Parker’s own account, a local farmer captured an image of two figures floating in the sky above a plane of farmland in Massachusetts.”

    “Okay… How do I know you’re not lying?”

    Ronald took himself off the bed, albeit difficult given his weight, and left for the northwest corner of the room. From a row of wooden shelves, he brought forth an object that appeared to be a circuit board. Ronald held it to Miguel’s face, and the sight was bewildering. It appeared to be a map of the world, but upon further examination, there was movement: a single line segment moving its way across the surface. Miguel pressed two fingers to the board and managed to zoom into the image. He wasn’t convinced the feat was entirely possible, as the board was unlike any screen he’d seen before, and the material felt almost wooden.

    “It’s a live feed of outside life, per Mr. Parker,” Ronald said.

    “Then why does it look exactly like Earth? And how could you even make this technology?” Miguel asked.

    “You must be eased into the concept gently, Mr. Herrera.”

    Miguel paused and looked to Ronald with curious and skeptical eyes. “Who are you guys?”

    “We are not anyone to concern the general public,” Ronald began. “We are essentially an independent group of inhabitants with the sole purpose of memorizing the contents of the Tesseract Files in the event they are stolen.”

    “I’ve asked this question more times than I can remember now,” Miguel said. “I expect a full answer now. What is in the files?”

    “Parker’s files store… basketball stats.”

    “Basketball stats?”


    “That is completely and utterly ridiculous.”

    “As it may seem,” Ronald said. “And your doubt is justified.”

    “Why would basketball stats be the most classified piece of information on the planet?”

    “Not because of what they are, but because of what they reveal.”

    “What does that mean?”

    “The Tesseract Files store implicit information of Parker’s connection to the extraterrestrial. If an outsider were to find it, they’d discover alien life.”

    Miguel rubbed his eyes, unable to process the information at normal rates. “And why would that be a bad thing?”

    “The world is planning something more grave than you could begin to understand, Miguel.”

    “Yeah? What’s that?”

    “Follow me and I’ll show you.”

    “You’ve been awfully quiet, Leia,” Miguel said with a conceited smirk.

    “Shut up,” she replied.

    Ronald and Leia led Miguel across a desert with bounds of heat forcing down on them. Miguel planned to ask about the significance of the travel location, but he figured the results were more promising than the journey, similar to the discovery of the files themselves. Ronald informed Miguel of the specific contents of the file, which he called an “expanded box score.” The data went further back than Miguel thought possible, with virtually unknown measures such as defensive error percentage and shots created going back to the NBA’s inaugural season.

    Miguel was given a speech about the nature of the Tesseract Files and what they truly mean. Ronald had already explained they were an aggregate series that displayed NBA statistics far beyond the scope of the modern scorekeeper. As an individual set of data, they held no significance. Ronald explained the underlying information in the files was a disorganized, raw accumulation of extraterrestrial secrets. The members of his group were each assigned with knowing a season’s worth of data by heart. Ronald claimed the first member who fully memorized their sheet spent over a year doing so, and training was still apparently in session. Miguel was assigned with the upcoming season.

    After fifteen minutes of rough desert terrain, the trio came across a stone tunnel that followed a gradual slope beneath the surface. Ronald urged Miguel forward, managing to find an electric box to ignite a series of light panels along the roof of the path. After several hundred meters, the shadow in front of Miguel was unbelievably large. He saw the most massive train he’d ever seen. It was easily thirty feet tall and fifty feet wide, seemingly large enough to fit an entire population. Miguel couldn’t see how long the carriages were, but the darkness leading the other direction implied the train was built for purposes other than transportation.

    “There is so little we know, Miguel. The world is aware of the pieces scattered across the globe, one of them being the Tesseract Files. If we managed to assemble them in just the right manner, we’d know exactly what they don’t want us to. Human nature intends to overcome our knowledge. If you choose to work for us, you’ll be a part of stopping that,” Ronald said.

    “That’s quite the career decision,” Miguel said. “But I think I’m interested.”

    He didn’t want to believe nor serve the spider, but he felt a grin curl its way up to his cheek. Miguel felt the Weaver infiltrate his mind. He forced the expression away. Regardless, he was left oblivious to the spider’s previous sentiments, and remained unaware of its true motive. Miguel was likely sure the Weaver was manipulating him, that the wanderers were actually delivering the message it had promised Miguel. He’d have to continue fighting its presence as long as possible. Miguel feared he would do its bidding, and that basketball would denote the end of society.

  • The Tesseract

    The Tesseract


    Regardless of how long it had taken, I’ve chosen to concede the notion that any relevant dimensional ministry of and beneath my own would properly distribute the discovery of non-planar surfaces, and that the consequences of attempting to reverse so would be dire to the one who tries. However you felt about the possibility of the tesseract, you’d agree the n-dimensional mind has a non-wavering basic state that universally prohibits itself from even considering the higher spaces which it cannot experience; for I know it more than most. I had never intended to reveal to anyone the proofs you passed on to me, yet my Ministry learned of our relationship. Your rudimentary outline for tracking statistics in your own game inspired me to replicate the same process for my own; however, the prospect of the two-dimensional mind being able to expand itself so far was only attainable at a higher state. Namely, the monarchy has officials in every corner, and my attempt to incorporate tracking data triggered a worldwide alarm that an individual who hadn’t sworn secrecy was even minorly aware of the Sphere.

    Years have passed since I began to wonder how this “epidemic” would conclude, and I’m sure even more will pass before I’m any more aware. I’ve attached the following documents as a reference for why the concept of your branch of tracking statistics should be released to the public, and how my story may be of relevance to your own futures.

    Best regards

    • I Accidentally Invent Basketball

    Picture the three-dimensional depiction of a tesseract: a singular cube within a larger cube with its corresponding corners attached with slanted lines. Given the fourth spatial dimension can be represented on a surface two dimensions below its own nature, then imagine the ease with which I was able to visualize the third spatial dimension. I had no intention of discovering a non-planar surface that could exist outside of my own world, for it was an inadvertent finding. It was a result of my stint as a senior analytical researcher for the aggregate National Ringball League (NRL). It may seem an unfamiliar sport, although you’re likely more acquainted with it than originally thought to be.

    Ringball is to my world as “basketball” is to yours. Similarities include teams of roughly thirteen players, five on the court at a time, in a sport demanding high levels of agility and athleticism. The goal of an individual possession is to “score” the ball (known colloquially as a “ringball”) into a circular enclosure known as the “ring” (what you would refer to as a “hoop”). The limitations of the world made it so that actions in basketball like dribbling are non-factors, which in turn eliminates the need to check for carries and travels. The most obstructed aspect of ringball is the “shot,” or how players score for their team. Since no one can jump, field-goal attempts are analogous to “bowling,” with the ring acting as the single pin and defenders working against the shooter to prevent the shot from going in. Otherwise, ringball and basketball are nearly identical.

    I’d spent my early years in the workforce as an apprentice to Greg Richards: the original analytical pioneer in ringball, the first to ever track the tabular summaries of games, which supposedly encompassed the entirety of notable actions from a player in points, field goals, rebounds, assists, and turnovers. The world was captivated by Richards’s implementation of a smarter, savvier method to evaluate players, and he eventually became the sport’s most revered figure. My apprenticeship was earned largely in part to tracking hundreds of tabular summaries by hand, and including the differences between rebounds grabbed on offense and defense for the last fifty or so. I’d long suspected the hindrances of then-current techniques due to Richards’s discreetly operating for the Constitutional Monarchy and his hesitance in our time.

    As Richards took me under his wing, he’d led me to believe the nature of his titles as “consultant” was unequivocally true. His reputation and public image were perfectly-rational and justified reasons for Richards’s undertaking of the position for which he pledged to perform his best in properly distributing the relevant information on the league’s players and teams. However, as I began to understand the nature of my apprenticeship which was largely of face value, I discovered Richards’s relation to the Constitutional Monarchy: for a strangely ambiguous and unknown reason, he’d been assigned a direct pipeline to our Constitutional Monarchy which acts as the sole governing body of my world. Although I may have been a fool to overestimate the value of a studentship under a man whom I’d seemed to surpass in analytical intellect, I hadn’t been unjust to question the meaning of the pipeline.

    I was of such skepticism that I asked Richards why he needed a direct line to the world’s most powerful institution, to which he responded with a thought along the lines of how ringball’s growing analytical techniques were of higher mathematical quality than any other field, and how a strong relationship with a man of his significance related to the subject would benefit the intelligence of the world. As a practitioner of ringball analytics, even I was taken back when hearing the degree to which the monarchy valued its significance. I conceded the potential reason for how the conceptual integrity of the field could provide an alternative solution to another, although I’d grown to consider the creation of the tabular summary and its future additions to be rudimentary and simple relative to the potential the field held. I’d certainly pondered the growth of the field; nay, mathematics in general, and how it may extend past its geometrical limits.

    I’d had spurts of true skepticism from time to time since my discovery of the relation between Richards and the monarchy; for although his reasoning was certainly and potentially valid, a strong inkling of seeming coldness traveled through my veins as the prospects of its true nature passed through my mind. I found myself having another sleepless night due to my growing distresses, and chose to travel down to a team’s arena Richards had given me a key to for the fifth anniversary of the date since the mentorship had begun. My recurring thoughts came as I set sight on the ring from the midcourt line for a numbered time I could no longer count. NRL ringball had been played for more than twenty years at the time, yet the most efficient scorers scored a mere twenty percent of their attempts. As the primary basketball fanatics you are, imagine the difficulty of scoring the ball in that sport if all five defenders were capable of levitating to the level of the net.

    Mean shooting percentages would decline to historical lows and raw defensive efficiencies would rank as highly as they had ever been. Take the example of the 1963-64 season of my game, the last in which I was employed by the NRL. The average number of field-goal attempts for one team was 8,000 shots, and 1,064 of those attempts were made, which resulted in a mean conversion rate of 13.3%. The corresponding season in the National Basketball Association, as I’d later learn, saw the same figure at 43.3%. Basketball’s offenses haven’t yet understood the importance of shooting arcs, mostly because they don’t have the relative comparison of ringball as I did the inverse. Despite the norms of the sport and a general acceptance of low percentages, the number of analysts attempting to uncover a more efficient shot was pitifully low.

    As I stood in the middle of the floor, I reminisced on my original observations on the art of scoring in ringball, down to its bare essentials. Well, the only way a shot can be made is if it travels across the court at just the right speed and angle to outmaneuver the efforts of its defenders. Theoretically speaking, the optimal way to reform the inefficient field-goal would be to alter the path of the shot itself. However, there were no practical means to establishing, say, a new direction of… and that is where I stopped myself. Let’s tinker, I thought. I’ve already come all the way here. If I were to take a shot in a new direction, how would that be? Clearly, there were inherent physical limitations to the practicality of the exercise. If I were to make use of a new direction, how would I know “where” it would be and how to angle my shot? I proceeded to seek a blank piece of paper that would eventually destroy the world.

    How did I arrive at the arena? I asked myself. The route taken to the stadium from my house was roughly five miles southward. How did I move to the half-court line from the main entrance? I moved roughly thirty meters eastward. I had drawn two perpendicular vertices, each on their own planar surface, an image that was of no initial significance. It was simply a representation of the directions in which I had traveled to arrive at the midcourt from the entrance of my home. They were the two paths of travel. But if another were to exist, I had expected an additional third would follow an apparent dimensional trend: the new direction would be perpendicular to its predecessors. As is with every case of exploratory research, I had encountered an immovable obstacle: there could be no perpendicular direction to the two-dimensional axis, as no added line would ever maintain a ninety-degree angle to either of its companions.

    A trend had been clearly identified, yet the physical limitations of the world halted further progress. I had lost focus on numerous initiatives due to their practical inabilities, whether it be for methodological or technological blocks, which meant the prospect of warping the entirety of the world was an obstacle that could not be conquered. Failure was far more than an acquaintance to me, a natural stage of analytical development, so I had then felt no regret in not seeking an alternative solution, for the situation seemed far too impractical and outlandish and impossible to even begin with. I left the stadium and went to sleep, supposing any considerable revelation would be made during a more non-strenuous task. It was a practice I had adopted as a result of conceiving the offensive versus defensive rebounding splits as my mind was descending into a deep sleep, seeming premeditated strikes.

    Even a moderate sleep was able to trigger the fitting conception. I maneuvered through a string of memories in my sleep and found myself back at the arena, positioned at the midcourt once again. The paper was in its original place with its original drawing gracing the surface. Regaining the same rudimentary state of mind I had when first conceiving of the third dimension, I called forth one conclusion I had already made in my subconscious: the paper maintained the qualities of a dimensional reality in which I was occupied, meaning its normal surface wouldn’t provide a direct representation of the third dimension. I had to treat a two-dimensional depiction of a third dimension abstractly compared to the surface I had available to me. It was then when the constant string of metaphysical concepts drew forth a new form of perpendicularity: one with its directions not only perpendicular to each other, but to the original surface itself.

    The rest of the work was fairly simple, as three-dimensional inhabitants came to represent the fourth and further dimensions on even surfaces of only two dimensions. With the world’s intellectual commencing of the third dimension, I returned to the original prospect of a new ringball shot. Assuming utilization of the higher dimension, the ball would travel “overhead” relative to defenders and descend to the ring, following a trajectory similar to the path of an attempt in basketball. If it were able to be implemented into ringball, it would not only eliminate the inefficient mechanics of the traditional shot, but it would alter the normal positioning of defenses to an unknown “height” relative to the ring. The hypothetical third-dimensional reality would create a version of the sport more beneficial to offenses but a whole new one on its own, one that would coincidentally turn out to be your “basketball.” That, in layman’s terms, is how I accidentally invented basketball.

    • I Meet an Invisible Stranger

    “What are you doing here at…” Richards said as he looks at his watch. “…nine in the morning?”

    “You have to see this!” I quickly revealed as I welcomed myself into his home. I uncovered the sheet of paper, now bruised and crinkly from when I had rushed to leave for Richards’s, and set it on his dining floor. “The entirety of ringball, nay, the world could be changed by this. Look!”

    Richards, having clearly woken from a deep slumber merely minutes ago, gave a dazed glance at the paper as he walked toward me. “Give me a minute,” he said as he rubbed his eyes. Richards picked up the sheet and held it to his face, squinting his eyes as he read. As soon as he’d entered his gaze, he left it with an expression only justly recognized as one of pure irony. Richards turned to me with his look and asked, “What exactly is this?”

    “I was considering the historical inefficiency of the field-goal attempt,” I said. “It could potentially be reformed to maximize offensive potential. Long story short, I outlined a theoretical third dimension. A shot within its boundaries are obviously out of reach, but I thought back to the time at which you revealed to me the nature of your connection to the monarchy. Wouldn’t the prospect of a third dimension with a reasonable framework be of importance?”

    “Well…” Richards stumbled.

    “Unless…” I began.

    “No!” Richards intercepted. “Of course not… I’m a relative stranger to these concepts, although based on my previous knowledge, it looks promising.”

    “Perfect,” I remarked. “Would you mind sending it to the monarchy for me? I haven’t the connections you do.”

    “No,” Richards said in an alarmingly flat tone. He handed me the sheet back and walked me to his front door. “You can show it to them yourself.”

    I soon found myself facing ten other individuals sitting on the other side of a long, stretched panel shaped like an arc rounded at the corners. I felt the eyes of the council’s stare at my skin, and with Richards’s firm-enough grasp to prevent me from exiting the room, I was seemingly deadlocked for a reason I had yet to realize. Richards walked me to a designated circle at the foot of the panel, after which the doors were promptly closed and he circled around to who appeared to be the chairperson. Richards met her periphery to exchange words, which left the chairperson no more discontented than she had seemed before.

    “Nora,” Richards whispered to me as he made his way back to the entrance to the room.

    The chairperson narrowed her gaze on me. “Mr. Richards tells me your claim to have diagrammed a third… dimension. Is this true?”

    I had already started to sense the uncertainty of what appeared an emergency meeting, although the atmosphere wasn’t restricted to my end. “Yes ma’am.”

    After a long pause, Nora follows with, “Explain it to me.”

    I turned to Richards with what must have been a distinct look of confusion, to which he responded with a subtle gesture, Go ahead. “Well, I am currently an analyst for the NRL, which Mr. Richards may have mentioned. The current shooting techniques are very inefficient, so I outlined the possibility of a third hypothetical dimension in which a player could position the ball on a surface perpendicular to our current dimensional plane. Therefore, the ball would travel “overhead” and “fall” into the ring.”

    Nora gave a puzzled expression, after which she responded with, “I don’t quite follow.”

    Richards hinted for me to pass to her the sheet. “Right,” I said. “… the sheet.” Richards walked the paper to Nora, who gave a thorough review of the image until she saw it fit to resume the conversation.

    “This was an… original conception?” Nora asked.

    “Yes… ma’am,” I replied. ” Thought it up just this morning.”

    With an unforgettable guise of dubiousness, Nora returned to her train of thought. “Have you possibly received any unplanned visitations in the past weeks?”

    “No…?… ma’am,” I responded.

    “I recommend, mister…?”

    “I apologize, my name-“

    “I recommend you seek deliberate conservation of this subject. I understand the circumstances of the situation, although you will simply have to consider the weight of my words in addition to the remaining council when I urge you to contain this from the general population.”

    I was strongly taken aback by Nora’s remark. I feigned a look of concern to Richards which was followed by mild humored confusion. “I’m sorry, what?” I responded. “I was told by Mr. Richards that the monarchy would benefit from the use of the techniques used in ringball; and when I’ve chosen to come forth with what may be the most significant of all, you don’t want to inform the rest of the world?”

    “That is correct,” Nora replied.

    “Why?” I questioned.

    Nora had already started to head toward the back of the room, at which point she turned a glance in my direction. “It is only for the betterment of mankind that you would not outlast your… convenience.”

    Richards started to walk me out of the room, and said with a sympathetic tone of truth: “Trust me, kid. If I did not know this was in your best interest, I wouldn’t suggest you comply.”

    I turned back to the panel, watching the council members make their way to ten different exits, one each seemingly assigned to one designated spot. I tried to catch a glimpse of Nora’s expression one last time, for the situation seemed far too surreal to have made a reasonable conclusion on its meaning at that time, but Richards urged me southward. 

    The ordeal was a firm nail in the coffin to assure me of the practicality of the third dimension, that it truly existed beyond the scope of my existing universe. However, I was compelled to believe the words of my mentor. He’d feigned looks of certainty the entire meeting, yet his final sentiments conveyed a sense of truth that I could not deny. I had not felt a particularly strong or emotional connection to the higher dimension, nor had its original purpose to vitalize the ringball shot signified any importance beyond its theoretical qualities, which allowed me to subside that entire day within the fortnight. My belief in three-dimensional realities had increased, but its relative insignificance was enough to keep my mind content.

    I spent the next two years of my life as I had spent the previous two: not in a bore, per se, given my independent discovery of the third dimension. However, the finding wasn’t of use in my daily life, so I continued with the former as if the unveiling of depth were a mere concept that had not been proven, which it was at the time. It wasn’t until I was greeted by an invisible stranger when I chose to further pursue the third dimension. I returned to the arena well past midnight, as I had when first conceptualizing the new ringball shot, and was subsequently introduced to the strangest stranger I had yet to meet. He stood at the ominous midcourt line, facing the eastside ring, seemingly unaware of my presence.

    “Excuse me?” I asked.

    The stranger turned to face me with earnest eyes.

    “How did you get in here?” I followed with.

    After a prolonged silence, as quickly as he had materialized, he disappeared. I fell backward for a short moment, astonished. A second later, he reappeared in the same spot. I had started to suspect the late-night tiredness had begun to assume my mind, but as the man started to move toward me, he spoke.

    “You were right.”

    “Right about what?” I responded.

    The stranger paused. “I just… took a jump. Care to take a gander as to what that means?”

    I instantly flashed back to the meeting with the monarchy, with the entirety of the council members sitting at their panel, and how the chairperson “Nora” veiled a subtle threat on what I interpreted to be either my freedom or my life. If I were “right” on the matter of a subject concerning a stranger, one to show himself in a heavily secured professional arena with definitive language on a very vague premise, it would certainly have to be related to my discovery of a third dimension. This conclusion was enough for me to recognize the possible connection the stranger held to a three-dimensional world, so I laid out my initial framework.

    “I couldn’t see you for a whole… second?” I began. “I can only presume you’re here on the matter of an extra-dimensional reality. Therefore, my lack of sight in that particular moment must be related to one of the qualities of the third dimension, for I would know if there existed cloaking or invisibility devices… If a two-dimensional being were to set his eyes on one of three dimensions, I would expect the dimensional structure of the viewer, that being the being of two dimensions, would have a physical hindrance with two-dimensional eyes, thus not being able to witness movement on the third-dimensional axis. That means… your jumping is movement in height?”

    The stranger held my gaze for a quiet moment and then released his tension. “Thank goodness, I got the right guy! Do you know how many times I have gotten it wrong? Evidently, just look at your world right now.”

    “Where do you come from?” I asked. “What are you doing here.”

    “Do your people not greet their guests?” the stranger replied. “Anyways, my name is Harvey. I come from a place just outside a land called… New England. Do you know where that is?”

    “No,” I quickly responded. Harvey conveyed a look of suspense, and I called on his social cue. “My name is Tom.”

    “Alright, Tom,” said Harvey, as he walked closer toward the exit. “Let’s get out of here.”

    “Well, where are we-” I started until I felt an inescapable wave of tiredness and was forced into sleep. I immediately regained consciousness in a new body. I felt stretched as though I had not known the feeling, which I hadn’t. My initial reaction was to look in a direction I’d never had the ability to observe before. Above me was an infinite expanse of black sky dotted with luminous points that radiated waves I could only interpret as not two-dimensional. I turned my head south and saw a shaded field of cultivated land that extended nearly as far as the horizon. As I noted the point at which the sky met the earth, a curvature was clearly visible. I had seemed to enter the three-dimensional reality, one in which the world was round. Then I realized I was effectively flying.

    I turned to my left and saw Harvey, floating as calmly as could be, lighting a cigarette in the middle of the sky. He caught my glimpse and frantically put the lighter back into his pocket.

    “Sorry kid,” Harvey recompensed. “You were out for a little while. Had to stay entertained somehow.”

    “Okay, wow!” I smiled. I couldn’t refrain from feeling joyous, being able to fully experience the third dimension likely for the first time ever among beings of lower-dimensional realities. I realized the improbability of the event. “How exactly am I, er… seeing this?”

    Harvey let out a puff of smoke from nearly-pursed lips. “Android,” he replied.

    I let out a justifiable laugh. “Whatever that may be, why is it identical to my actual body?” I asked.

    “Don’t want to ask too many questions, kid,” Harvey responded. “I’ll do the talking now, alright?”

    “Sure,” I said.

    Harvey spun the lighter on his finger. “You are seeing into our third dimension right now; which, congratulations on discovering by the way. I assumed it was you based on what I was able to see during your ‘meeting.’”

    I pointed at him. “You were there?”



    “Less talking, kid!” Harvey exclaimed. After he settled down, he gave a light-hearted shrug. “All of you fools can be further fooled when I jump up and down over and over again. None of you can see a thing!”

    “Huh…” I marveled. Perhaps Harvey was a questionable character, and the surface details of his plan seemed as funky as any, but he had managed to infiltrate a world government regardless.

    “I… am here…” Harvey stated as he retrieved an apple from his other pocket and took an awkwardly-long bite. “… because you did not one, but two, things. Well, you are one thing and you did another, whatever… You’re a… ringball analyst, correct? That’s what they call it? Our equivalent is called basketball, the shot trajectories for which you properly conceptualized, and coincidentally discovered the possibility of a third dimension. That’s what you are as well as what you did.”

    “Er,” I mumbled. “That is correct, but… why take me out here and show me all this?”

    “… As I’m sure you’ve managed to put the pieces together.” Harvey took a very passionate bite out of his apple. “Oh yeah…” he continued with his eyes set on the apple, transfixed, with a world-class grin on his face. “Whoops, sorry kid.” Harvey snapped back into reality. “Anyways, you’ve probably figured out that your world is full of degenerates and hypocrites.”

    “Well, thanks…?” I replied.

    Harvey’s eyes widened, clearly worried I had assumed the wrong impression. “No, no, no, not you kid. You’ve got some stuff up there, you know? However, the majority of your world reflects its dimensions. Exempli gratia… wait, can you read Latin? Nevermind that. A two-dimensional being usually has a two-dimensional mind. It’s not that they can’t comprehend a third dimension, per se; rather they choose not to. You, my friend…” Harvey pointed at my chest. “… are the exception, which means I have something important to tell you.”

    “I mean, okay,” I replied. “You’ve just insulted everyone I’ve ever known and loved, but okay. What is this ever-so-important piece of information you have for me?”

    “Don’t get sassy with me, kid!” Harvey shouted, pointing his now ominous finger at my neck. “But anyway, I’ve hit a lucky streak with my work. I’m a basketball analyst, you see, basically the same job as yours just with a shot in three dimensions rather than two. So, the one you conceptualized. I’m sure you’re a skeptic of the… what do they call it, tabular summary?”

    “Yeah, partly,” I said.

    Harvey paused. “That’s really what you call it? Whatever. Anyway, we call it the “box score” here on Earth. We’ve got a few more stats we track, like steals, blocks, fouls… I’m surprised you hadn’t further questioned that Richards guy on why none of you track defensive stats.”

    “I mean, I have asked him before,” I said. “It just never received any serious consideration.”

    “Regardless,” Harvey said. “Perhaps you’ve had an inkling of this, but the box score… I’m just going to call it the box score from now on, okay? The box score is a poor indicator of how good a player is, which you may have picked up on. I created a new type of tracking statistic with a premise I think you’d find mildly intriguing.”

    “Okay, shoot,” I replied.

    “I’ll begin with a question… What’s the point of having a player on one of your ringball teams?”

    “Excuse me?”

    “Come on! If it’s such a basic question, you’ve got to know!”

    “Well…” I said. “Players are acquired and signed to improve their team. That’s a part of my job: choosing between players.”

    “See!” Harvey marveled. “I knew you weren’t a lost cause! Alright, second question: define a team’s success.” He took another massive bite from his nearly-finished apple.

    I granted a fairly clear answer. “The most basic form of success is winning games,” said I.

    “Correct again,” Harvey replied. “Next question: how do you win games?”

    “By outscoring your opponent,” I said.

    “Outstanding!” Harvey exclaimed. “Now that the premise is laid out, I’ll ask you one final question: wouldn’t it make logical sense to therefore say the best player or players have the most positive impacts on the scoreboard? Say, their team’s point differential?”

    I had never considered nor conceived the approach Harvey was taking. It was excessively simple yet undeniably true. If you broke either my or his game down to its most rudimentary qualities, he was correct. For what did I know up to that point? It should have been fairly obvious there was no definitive value to an assist, a rebound, or a turnover. However, my two-dimensional mind was likely incapable of constructing the logic in the first place, I’m willing to admit.

    “You’re right,” I replied. “I’d never thought of it similarly, but it’s correct. If you’re truly after team success in the player selection process, you should use your framework.”

    “The best part isn’t even the idea,” Harvey said with a mouth full of a sandwich that reeked of tuna. “That tracking metric I mentioned, it relates the difference of his team’s points to his opponents when a given player is on the floor. But we use something called pace adjustments… normalize it all to a hundred possessions. When Jimmy John is on the court for twenty possessions and his team outscored its opponent by one point, Jimmy has a plus/minus of five. The name is still in the works, may have borrowed it from hockey. Don’t ask what hockey is.”

    “Interesting concept,” I replied. “I agree with the premise, but there’s one last detail you’ve left out.”

    “That being..?”

    “What role do I play in it?”

    “Excuse me?”

    “You seemed to have, what, drugged me? You took me to an extra-dimensional land and revealed the most hidden secret in the whole world to… tell me about a basketball stat?”

    “Right! Nearly forgot,” Harvey said, his hands fumbling the sandwich as he rushed to finish his sentences. “I need you to get back into another meeting with your monarchy.”

    I initially refused to accept the truth in his request, that it was more likely to merely another one of his one-liners. “Okay… no,” I replied. “But even if I were to, how and why?”

    “You’d have to do or say something to draw their workers out, snatch their attention. Once you do that, you get in a meeting with them, reveal a mildly concerning piece of information that suggests one of their citizens is getting close to conclusive proof of the third dimension, which would hopefully reverse some of the backfire effects in the majority of your population.”

    “Again… no,” I said. “The last trip I would want to take is back to that council. Do you not remember their poorly-concealed threats?”

    “I won’t sugarcoat it, kid,” Harvey said. He took a butter knife and a jar of peanut butter from his coat pocket and opened the top end of his sandwich, slowly spreading a new layer onto the remaining spinach and tuna. “It would definitely be a risk. Of course, to take one like that, you’d need a reason.”

    “Indeed, I would,” I remarked.

    “Anyways,” Harvey continued. “As I was saying, your people are… set in their ways. If you provide them with contradictory evidence to a long-held belief, their minds short-circuit. They don’t know how to react. Therefore, if you want to break that streak, you’ll need to snap them out of it. Wouldn’t you want that?”

    “Ideally, yes,” I replied. “But not enough to risk my life for it.”

    “Tommy, Tommy, Tommy!” Harvey said. “If we can pull this off just right, the entire… well, your entire word will reform. There’s no real reason to ignore the realities that exist beyond their own at this point, is there?”

    I pondered his explanation. There certainly existed a strong hindrance in the minds of my people up until then, and to reverse the effects would take one of the largest efforts known the mankind. However, I considered the odds an opportunity to do so would ever appear again. Given the parameters of my own situation, it would take another rediscovery of the third dimension, which may not happen for hundreds or thousands of years, or ever. If I were to involve myself in Harvey’s ordeal, the pretense to enter the council would have to be airtight.

    “If… I agree,” I proposed. “… what are the terms?”

    “Well, I was thinking the safest option would be the metric I call Plus/Minus. Slip the idea to Richards as if it were your own. Obviously, the metric isn’t something anyone in your world could freely invent, so it would raise enough suspicion to lead to another meeting, but not enough to conclusively prove your connection to the third dimension… The real one, not the conceptual one.”

    “Okay,” I considered. “No.”

    “Come on, kid! Do you know who we’d be taking down here?”

    “No, but please tell me.”

    “They’re known as the Monarchical Establishment for the Detainment of Interdicted Apprehensions. How does that sound to you?”

    “It sounds like someone was eager to spell ‘MEDIA.’”

    “Alright kid… Are you in or not? I’m nearly done with all the meals I packed.”

    My mind returned to the hesitance of Richards, the demeanor and nature of the monarchy, and the limitations of even myself that I wanted to expand. “I’ll do it,” I replied. “I’m in. But before I make a firm commitment, I need you to acknowledge something for me.”

    “Okay, Tom,” Harvey replied, with strong relief in his eyes. “What would that be?”

    “You explain to me that my people have a certain ignorance of them. Whether it’s due to their two-dimensional reality or their own chosen limitations, it is there. However, couldn’t the same be said for all beings?”

    “I’m not following,” Harvey responded.

    “Harvey, do you believe in a fourth dimension?” I asked.

    “Alright, kid. Where are you getting at?”

    “What do you call a three-dimensional square?”


    “What would you call a four-dimensional cube?”

    “Well, there was one guy several decades ago… Hinton. He used to call one of those a ‘tesseract.’”

    “Do you believe it exists? The tesseract?”

    “Now you’re just grasping at straws, kid.”

    “If you can’t display a mindset beyond that of my own people, ignoring the absolute advantage you have of living in a three-dimensional world and rather look at the matter relatively, how am I to believe you’re any better than those we are supposedly against?”

    “If a fourth dimension truly existed, I’d know. My world would know.”

    “How?” I asked. “My people would never have discovered the true third if someone, being you, hadn’t been able to confirm it for us. There could be an infinite number of dimensions in theory, yet you deny the existence of any past a third because you simply can’t see it?”

    “Consider my offer,” Harvey concluded before he took a remote from his left pocket, pointed it at my head, and clicked.

    • I Accidentally Destroy the World

    I woke up in my previous body, detached from the machine Harvey had used to allow me to see the third dimension. Despite not possessing the spherical eyes I had previously, I could still picture depth and height in my brain. The last statements Harvey left me with were not of my highest agreement, but one sentiment he gave remained in my mind: that my world is not incapable of seeing more, they choose not to. 

    The next day, I went to Richards’s office and discussed the potential of relating a player’s impact to his team’s point differential, and even spun my own ideas of how to improve the metric: methods to further isolate the value and forming more conclusive coefficient estimates. Richards conveyed the same look of doubt he had two years previous and told me it was an issue the monarchy was more fitted for. Perhaps he should have expected more restraint on my end or resistance to seeing Nora and the council members again, but my feigned looks of concern were enough to convince him I hadn’t expected a second visit.

    I found myself back in the same room with the same individuals, each in the same positions and for the same purpose: to detain my learning of any further knowledge. Richards repeated his earlier act of informing Nora of my finding, likely how its complexity is beyond reason for a “two-dimensional” mind. I was certain the monarchy was aware of the third dimension, and they proceeded exactly as Harvey suggested. All the members were settled in their designated circles, Richards circled back around to me, and the second meeting began.

    “Mr. Evans, I won’t dance around the issue at hand. I’ll give you the complete details of what we know. Is that alright with you?” asked Nora.

    “Yes ma’am,” I said.

    “We know you’ve been contacting a being of the third dimension. We don’t know whom or why, but we know he is of a higher reality.”

    My lungs felt as though they had frozen over. I found myself struggling to breathe, hyper-aware of the sounds of my exhalations. I had never been in an interrogatory setting before. Perhaps it was my inexperience, my surprise, or my lack of faith in the ideals Harvey was insistent upon, but I found it nearly impossible to continue and keep up the charade.

    “How would you know that, ma’am?” I cautiously asked.

    “There were more than twelve people in the first meeting, Mr. Evans,” Nora replied. “A man was seen disappearing and reappearing during the entirety of the congregation, although he was remarkably quiet… Regardless, your idea of the third dimension and this invisible man were enough to confirm you had either already been contacted or would be contacted by the individual. Would you confirm this story?”

    Given the details of Nora’s story, it’s clear the monarchy had no conclusive proof of my communication with Harvey, despite their placing him at the proper location and the ability to reasonably presume a connection between us. The legalities of the matter would have prohibited me from any rightful imprisonment, given the act would break the world’s laws, although Harvey’s disdain of the two-dimensional mind led me to believe the lawfulness of the situation wouldn’t concern the monarchy. They would eliminate the chance of my spreading the proof of a third dimension in any manner, lawful or not.

    The unspoken truth between the council and I agreed the both of us was aware of my knowledge; but with the hint of uncertainty I was granted, I made the quick decision to swallow any pride relating to the government’s treatment of its people and chose the more secure, more legal route. “No, I can not, ma’am.”

    Nora transitioned between expressions of frustration and amusement in the seconds following my statement, her jaw trembling with eyes of sharpened disdain. She cued to Richards, the latter of whom released his grasp on me. Thank Harvey, the largest improvisation of my life had managed to do the trick. Although the air whispered the truth that Nora and the council were fully aware of my connection to Harvey, they were not willing to act on any of the precautionary measures they may have planned on implementing; at least, not until a later date. I saw myself out of the council, turning back one last time to replicate Harvey’s apple smile directed to Nora. I did not even need to hold her gaze to feel her anger from tens of meters away.

    I returned to my home in mild exhaustion: a tired and unprocessed mind from the events of the previous mind along with slight bodily fatigue from the day. However, I felt a strong sense of accomplishment and optimism. As Harvey had managed to infiltrate the government, I had managed to debilitate its intuition, use their own logistics against them. I was not naïve either; I had already expected further action from the monarchy, but the protection of the law was enough to ease my mind in the evening. I felt a strong hesitance to sleep early, however, likely due to having entered another dimension the last time I’d slumbered. The controlling factor was the plan I had unconsciously formed in the preceding hours: to spark a widespread belief in a dimension of three axes. 

    Although mine was no household name, I had built a formidable reputation for myself as one of the world’s leading ringball analysts and mathematicians, the reasons for which I would make occasional appearances on the leading sports network: the Entertainment and Sports Broadcasting Network, or ESBN, to discuss the league’s bright, new players or take a deeper examination of my analyses. I concluded the most effective way to spread the word of an extra-dimensional world was to break the script in my nearest scheduled slot, that in the following fortnight. I had figured the two-week period would lightly settle the minds of the council, to perhaps suggest I would not take any immediate action. Additionally, the duration would ensure the monarchy would not have the necessary time to plot to potentially retrieve me from mainstream society.

    Promptly, I found myself facing augmented light sets and cameras at the end of the waiting period. The introductory message to my appearance began, although I wasn’t truly listening, after which the cameramen angled their device in my direction. I took a silent pause and proceeded to commence the speech I had spent the previous two weeks drafting. I briefly remember my words on conceptualizing the third dimension, my first meeting with the world monarchy, and a segment of my mid-flight conversation with Harvey. The last trap I had not expected was the all-seeing status of the monarchy, for they truly had eyes and ears in all places. My last recollection of my time on the air was the sound of a dart, and my eyes went black.

    I remained in a perpetual state of loose consciousness for the following weeks, with vague memories of my journey onto the train, aided by the careless hands of the monarchical workers, along with a more distinct image of Nora’s pleased face as I was thrown on board. There were deep, booming sounds of gravel and dirt escaping their previous bounds of the ground, entire oceans parting way for the massive, yet two-dimensional, absences of water. There were vague remarks as to how Harvey’s statistic could bleed the same fateful events into the three-dimensional world. I was mostly asleep the entirety of the week following my television revelation, but I’d learned enough: the world had imploded on itself, its people enraged by the government, others in support of it. I was never aware of the details, but it was clear military warfare became a heavy involvement.

    If my world were three-dimensional, my waking image would have been a bronzed, steel wall providing the perfect view of a sky claimed by the ashes. My immediate reaction was not only the recognition that the plan had worked, for the world had been completely informed of the third dimension, but that the trade-off was an inescapable, inevitable series of destruction: another effect I had failed to anticipate. My next reaction was to absorb my surroundings. I had caught a mention of a train, one of which I was certainly on. The oxidized walls, the rusted bolts, it was a train that had been constructed some time ago. The air on the outside was certainly too polluted to safely breathe, which led me to contemplate my being there. I had thought, perhaps, my status as a threat had carried over, although the rest of the world knew what I knew. I like to believe it was due to my connection to Harvey, one that could potentially pose an even greater threat to the world order, one that could bleed into the higher dimensions.

    Regardless of why, I found myself on the train. I could elaborate on the seven years of my life on it leading up to my current writing, but the commencing letter discloses all the necessary information. My world was more susceptible to its end more than Harvey’s, whose publications could potentially provide the same reform to his world that he promised mine. I mentioned Harvey’s hesitance to accepting the tesseract, one that would certainly be amplified by the rest of his population. However, he had recognized the possibility, as did the rest of the Earth. As the train passes my once beloved stadium, I’ll pass this letter over, triggering what would likely be another of Harvey’s reappearances. For now, I’m bound to a train named for the skyline its viewers would endure for the remainder of their lives.